crews flying U.S. Army helicopters are using the Air Warrior
aircrew ensemble, providing advanced life support, ballistic
protection and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection.
Over 10,000 kits have been fielded. Currently used are the Block
1 systems, incorporating micro-climate cooling system, integrated
survival gear and ballistic protection, improved over-water
survivability and lightweight NBC protection.
Further improvements are included in Block 2 upgrades, featuring
an electronic data manager and aircrew wireless intercom system
(Air Warrior will use Telephonics' TruLink which has also been
used with the Mounted Warrior program). Block 3 upgrades, currently
at the early development phase, will incorporate improved situational
awareness and survivability, enabling total transparency between
day and night under full NBC (MOPP 4) environment. Further enhancements
could also include cockpit
installed crash protection airbag systems. The micro-climate
cooling system maintains an air flow of cool air into a garment
worn by the soldier directly against the skin. The air flow
effectively dissipates body heat even at high ambient heat or
sealed conditions (NBC protection). In 2005 500 of these micro-climate
systems, developed by Foster-Miller, were modified to provide
cooling for HMMWV crews in Iraq.