More FAST Helmets Being Sought

10th Para CO Brigadier Khairul Azmizal Ahmad Natal with a FAST helmet preparing to lead the COs of the brigade for free fall parachute exercise in March 2021.

SHAH ALAM: More FAST helmets being sought. The Joint Force Command via the Defence Ministry has issued a request for bids for the supply and delivery of 569 helmets for a three year period. The tender which opens on 1 July closes on 2 September. As for the helmets, according to the specifications:

it is vital for the troops needs to be equipped with a ballistic helmet that is practical and functional when conducting Military operations and Public Order tasks. The ballistic helmet shall protect their head from injuries due to shrapnel, fragmentation, low-velocity bullet, and blunt weapon impact. The helmets shall be lightweight and able to be equipped or mounted with additional equipment based on mission and tasks.

Soldiers from the 10th Para Brigade getting ready to jump out of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft in March, 2020. The two soldiers are equipped with FAST helmets though the rest of them are using the old style helmets.

Further specifications:

Operating Conditions. a. Tropicalisation. It shall be fully tropicalised and comply with MIL-STD 810G. b. Robustness. It shall be robust to with stand rough military handling. c. Simplicity. It shall be simple to wear, disassemble and assemble. d. Maintainability. It shall be easy to maintain. e. Usage Lifespan. It shall be not less than seven (7) years. The general design of the helmet is as shown in the sketches at Annex A. It shall be designed to: (a) Provide protection against shrapnel, fragmentation, and low-velocity bullets. (b)Provide protection against head injuries that may arise during parachute jumps and obstacle clearance. (c) It shall be stable and comfortable to wear.

(2) Completeness. The helmet shall consist of the following parts: (a) Helmet Shell. (b) Quick Adjustable Dial Fit Band. (c) Adjustable Chinstrap (d) Inner Pads. (e) Shroud. (f) Pica tinny Rail. (g) Side Armour Protection.(3) Helmet Shell. (a) It shall be rigid in construction with ballistic protection. (b)It shall provide resistance against impact. (c) It shall be constant in thickness and strength. (d) It shall be able to be attached and detached with in service: i.Night operation equipment. ii. Airborne operation equipment. iii.Communication equipment. (e) The helmet shall be coated with: i. Colour according to current ii. Malaysian Army Paint Specification. iii. Walnut texture.

Two soldiers patrolling in ESSCOM as part of Op Benteng in 2020. Both are using regular helmets. Kementerian Pertahanan

As the helmets are to be painted in the colour of current Malaysian Army specifications, I am assuming they would be supplied to Joint Force command operations especially in the ESSCOM AOR. The tender documents did not say what units the helmets will be issued to. It must be noted that some units in the Army are already using the FAST helmets including those of 10th Para Brigade and 4th Mechanised Brigade, notably the UN Ready Battalion (though I am not purview to the manufacturer).
Soldiers of 7 Rejimen Renjer Di Raja equipped with FAST helmet with side armor during an inspection of the UN ready battalion in 2017.

It must be noted that various armies in Asean have also been seen in FAST helmets – designed originally by the US Army and first debuted in 2008 – from Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. It is unclear whether these FAST helmets are imported from the US, other countries or locally manufactured.
Philippines soldiers during an exercise in 2020 two with FAST style helmet and one with an ACH. Philippine Navy picture

Note the current FAST US military helmet is manufactured by Gentex Corporation.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2184 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. “shall protect their head from injuries due to shrapnel, fragmentation, low-velocity bullet”

    Pertinent. It’s often not realised that from Day One helmets were primarily intended to protect the wearer against shrapnel, fragments, etc. Not direct hits from high velocity bullets.

  2. This old school of thoughts should not be applied in todays modern army……..
    “For army use, creature comforts takes a backseat…..”
    All equipments can be bought but LIFE is PRICELESS…
    So why should we buy expensive helmets if FRITZ will do just nice…?
    “As long it fits the purpose, the army ain’t complaining, why should we?”
    We are not in the field…try field training for 1 week with the bare minimum…

  3. “, creature comforts takes a backseat…”

    Soldiers perform better when they have some level of comfort. It’s not WW1 anymore; we can’t expect soldiers not to be issued with gear which has some level of ergonomics or comfortability.

    “So why should we buy expensive helmets if FRITZ will do just nice…”

    Do you know for a fact that a “Fritz” “does just nice”? Also( FYI the term “Fritz” is a generic term for 1990’s era Kevlar helmets issued in the 1990’s. BTW the reason those helmets are not in use anymore and have been superseded by newer designs is because they are simply not up to the task anymore.

    “…try field training for 1 week with the bare minimum…L

    What is exactly is the point you’re trying to make? Do you know? It’s nice to suggest that soldiers have to train to operate with the minimum but (newsflash) they also have to train to operate in the conditions they are likely to find themselves in with the equipment they are issued with; incipiently this includes helmets.

    Quite obviously the reason FAST has been bought by several armies (not just ours) is not because of ecstatics or because it’s a unneeded extravagance but because it’s offers things which most standard helmets don’t : weight, a certain level of protection, modularity. comfort (vital when one has to wear a helmet for hours), etc.

    “All equipments can be bought but LIFE is PRICELESS…”

    WHO said otherwise and does us buying FAST indicate we think otherwise; life is not PRICELESS?

  4. current ii. Malaysian Army Paint Specification.

    I have been searching but can’t seem to find where to get this specification.

  5. Azlan,

    He’s not making any. His comments of late were mainly pointless sarcasm, I suppose his username speaks for itself. This latest one here is probably a dig at a comment you made on the army trucks tender

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