With the Swiss DH-100 "Vampires" being fitted with ejection seats from 1960, the pilot's required degree of protection was no longer guaranteed by 'soft' helmets as the leather "C-Type" or canvas ones like the "Stoffhauben".
Unlike the tested USN H-3 /H-4, the H-5 was a one-piece helmet where communication components and liner were fitted into the same helmet shell.
The shell was of a new design without reinforcing edges. The H-5 still has external buckles for adjusting the rear half of the headband.
USN helmets were painted gold because it was found this colour provides efficient thermal protection against solar radiation. Other colours have a tendency to make the helmet warm and therefore uncomfortable.
During 1949, after assessments made in service, in order to enhance solar radiation reflection, all H-5s were painted white.
Due the use on British aircrafts, during the evaluations and at the beginning of their commissioning, the H-5s were equipped with H-Type oxygen masks.