MSA Not a Participant in Current Marine Contract for Enhanced Combat Helmets

Mar 11, 2011, 16:30 ET from MSA

PITTSBURGH, March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA (NYSE: MSA) today announced it has received formal notification from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command that its Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) design did not meet all performance requirements of the DT2 testing phase of the ECH program.   As a result, MSA will not be a participant in an initial U.S. Marines/U.S. Army contract for approximately 240,000 Enhanced Combat Helmets.

The Enhanced Combat Helmet is a new ballistic helmet concept that incorporates thermoplastics and other advanced materials to provide a level of ballistic head protection that exceeds that of the Advanced Combat Helmet – the U.S. Army's current standard of issue.  

According to Joseph A. Bigler, President of MSA North America, MSA has not decided at this point whether or not it will pursue future ECH contracts.  "That is a determination we will be making over the weeks and months ahead after we have an opportunity to meet with military officials and gather more information about the most recent test results," he said.  "What I do know is that we are very proud of the effort and dedication our ballistics engineering and product development teams put forth throughout this phase of the ECH development program."

Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people's health and safety.  Many MSA products typically integrate any combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in the fire service, oil, gas and petrochemical industry, homeland security, construction, mining and other industries, as well as the military.  Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, gas masks, gas and flame detection instruments, head protection products, ballistic body armor, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through retail channels.  These products are marketed and sold under the MSA Safety Works brand.  MSA has annual sales of approximately $1 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and more than 40 international locations.  Additional information is available on the company's Web site at