Innovative Military Helmet Unveiled in Kyiv
A specialized helmet with eight cameras gives soldiers a 360-degree field of view
After field tests at the Yavoriv training grounds, a specialized helmet that allows mechanized vehicle drivers to see all around them was shown off in Kyiv.
The armored personnel carrier has eight cameras installed that transfer visuals to the special helmet, creating a 360-degree panorama. This integrated hardware-software system is called a ‘Land Platform Modernization Kit.’ Due to its capabilities, soldiers inside any armored vehicle can see everything happening around them.
“This is indeed ‘transparent armor’ as you are in an enclosed space. Tank and APC crews have a limited field of view, but this technology allows them to see as if they are outside. The information has a time lag of around two milliseconds. It is a very realistic system,” research officer of the battlefield modeling department of Sahaidachny National Land Forces Academy, Volodymyr Mocherat said.
The helmet allows the crew of armored vehicles to be as knowledgeable as possible: to see potential enemy targets or the positions of friendly forces and civilians. The system will also feed information about the state of the engine of the machine and the number of rounds for various types of weapons. It can also work in night mode.
“Speed and distance — it shows it all. It also has a navigator build in. I can set a route and it will show me the way. I cannot see what’s behind the vehicle while I am driving, but in this helmet, I just have to turn my head to see what’s happening behind me,” APC driver-mechanic, Serhii Dzholbunov said.
One of the developers is Mykhailo Grechukhin. The idea to create this complex came to him when he was a soldier in the Donbas, in 2014. Their tank was destroyed by an anti-tank mine. In the heat of the battle, the drivers did not have time to notice the mine and react accordingly.
“I saw that military hardware is not protected from threats because of the limited field of view and the unawareness of the crew of what is happening around. So we started this project and worked on it for three years,” he said.
Oleh Kokhanevich was one of the first to test this equipment. He knows firsthand how difficult it is to navigate in armored vehicles. He served in the east and defended Ukrainian lands in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“This is a very handy thing. For example, when you are driving through narrow streets the field of view is very limited and the cameras will help you see things, see what is happening behind, or to the sides, so you wouldn’t brush against something,” he said.
Developers continue to test their invention and plan to improve the system so that any armored vehicle could be controlled even from a distance. But to develop such a device, it will take several more years.