IDEX 2015

Giving a balanced view [IDX15D1]

23 February 2015

Finland-based Savox (Finnish Pavilion, Stand 06-B41) has launched its Thor integrated helmet electronics package at IDEX.

At heart, the system comprises a ballistic helmet shell – made by FY Composites – outfitted with a range of new proprietary attachments and standard military connectors and interfaces. These fittings enable hearing protection and communications, night vision goggles (NVGs) and a host of ancillary systems to be mounted using a common sensor and communications power rail.

Thor was designed for the Finnish Defence Forces and has been developed for a range of roles from dismounted infantry to armoured vehicle personnel and aircrew, but is now being launched for export.

Mikael Westerlund, Savox’s chief strategic officer, acknowledged that there are already a range of helmet set-ups available on the market for modern digitised soldier systems, but said the innovation of the Thor package is that all of the elements, from the powerpack at the rear, through the wiring loom and on to the NVGs and hearing protection, are fully integrated and balanced. This design means that no counterweights are required (the average counterbalance weight of most conventional systems is 600g) to keep the helmet and NVGs centred on the wearer’s head, reducing neck wear and increasing comfort.

The helmets can be specified in a cutaway special forces-type design – as launched at IDEX – or a longer form with coverage for the back of the neck. Additionally, the modular design enables Savox to supply a range of system configurations at customer requests, but in the configuration developed for the Finnish Defence Forces the baseline configuration weighs 1.9kg, rising to 2.3kg with a night vision monocle and 2.8kg with a full binocular set. The battery pack is a conformal design, with space for two AA batteries to ensure ease of replacement in the field.

Savox is looking at how to apply its technologies to other soldier-worn applications, starting with a load-bearing vest with an individual soldier router and power source.

(325 words)