Mk 6 helmet
A British Mk 6 helmet
TypeCombat helmet
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1986
Used bySee Users
Production history
DesignerNP Aerospace

The Mk 6 helmet is a type of combat helmet that was the standard of the British Armed Forces as well as another supplied helmet of the UN during peacekeeping operations. The Mk 6 replaced the Mk IV helmet (more correctly titled – Helmet Steel MK IV, General Service) in army service and the RAC helmet in naval service. The jump in MK numbers is thought due to the confusion surrounding the MK IV helmet using the MK V lining, introduced in 1959.[1]

The helmet is manufactured by NP Aerospace,[2] and is reported to have an "almost unlimited service life" by the manufacturer.[citation needed]


The Mk 6 was issued to the British military in 1986.[3] They were known to be used in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.[4]

From 1992, the Mk 6 was supplied to the UN alongside the M88, MICH and the M1 to allow for protection of peacekeeping forces. Many military forces used these helmets such as Argentina, Mexico, and most listed UN countries as stated. These were either covered with the respective country's camouflage helmet cover, or issued with a blue Mk 6 cover to indicate it as a peacekeeping helmet.[5]

From June 2009, the helmet was replaced by the Mk 7 helmet.[6]


The Mk 6, in its default configuration, is in dark green color. The British Army use covers to camouflage the helmet and adapt it to different environments. Covers include the British Disruptive Pattern Material in temperate woodland and desert patterns,[7] multicam pattern, Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform, a pure white cover for arctic environments and a United Nations blue coloured cover. The MK 6 is designed to accept modern ear protection, Bowman personal radios, and respirators.

It is sometimes referred as the "battle bowler", a term first used for the First World War Brodie helmet.

The Mk 6 is often mistakenly thought to be made out of kevlar when in fact it is constructed of ballistic nylon.[8]


Mk 6A

Gurkhas wearing the Mk 6 helmet with temperate DPM covers during an exercise.
British soldier wearing the Mk 6 helmet with desert DPM cover during Operation Granby.

In 2005, the Mk 6 began to be replaced by an evolution of the original design, the Mk 6A helmet.[9][10] NP Aerospace also manufactures the Mk 6A.[11]

Although it looks very similar to the Mk 6, the Mk 6A has enhanced ballistic protection and is marginally heavier than the earlier model.[12] The two variants can be easily distinguished from each other when the cover is removed, as the material of the Mk 6 is olive green whilst the Mk 6A is black.




See also


  1. ^ Reference to the British army Catalogue of Stores and Ammunition and Ordnance (editions May 1976, June 1984 and Nov 1985) confirms that the last version of the steel GS helmet was titled the MK IV.
  2. ^ "Armoured to the Teeth - DPI Magazine Article". 15 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Combat Helmets and Blast Traumatic Brain Injury".
  4. ^ "Mk 6 combat helmet, Gulf War, 1990-1991 | Online Collection | National Army Museum, London".
  5. ^ Kate (2016-03-10). "25 Photos From The Bosnian War Of 1992–1995". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 2017-11-01.[failed verification]
  6. ^ Emery, Daniel (2009-06-25). "UK troops to get new body armour". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2021-10-25. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
  7. ^ "Helmet, GS MK6 with Desert DPM Cover".
  8. ^ Ballistic properties of composite materials for personnel protection MRL Technical Report MRL-TR-89-6 by J.R.Brown and G.T.Egglestone 1989
  9. ^ GNN – Government News Network Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 22 Jan 2007 (pt 0024)
  11. ^ NP Aerospace Composite Helmets: Combat Helmets Archived 2007-08-24 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2011-02-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "The Ruger Mini-14, A Rifle Folks Love to Hate – Part 2 of 3 - The Truth About Guns". Archived from the original on 2020-02-18.[failed verification]
  14. ^ "Image Cover: UNMIL Ghana Battalion 16 donates to 37 Military Hospital".[failed verification]
  15. ^ "English: Iraqi police students approach a building while practicing clearing a building at the police academy in Basra, Iraq, April 20, 2011. The Iraqi police students trained under the observation of American contractors in support of Operation New Dawn". 20 April 2011.[failed verification]
  16. ^ "YPG". 10 September 2014.[circular reference]
  17. ^ Ministry of Defence (13 July 2015). "RAF C-130 delivers UK equipment support to Ukrainian forces". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Army donates thousands of helmets to Ukraine military". British Army. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  19. ^ "UK Releases New Helmet and Armor - Soldier Systems Daily". 27 June 2009.