MSA GALLET LA100
The MSA Gallet LA100 is the helmet currently used by the French Air Force on Rafale aircraft.
The Dassault Rafale was one of the competitors, between 2008 and 2011, of the Swiss AF TTE (Tiger-Teilersatz - Partial Tiger Replacement) evaluation with the SAAB Gripen E and the Eurofighter Typhoon (the Boeing F/A-18 E/F also present, but for different factors withdrawn from the competition); the Gripen E being the winner, its purchase later rejected in a popular vote.
More recently, during 2019, the Rafale took part in the selection for the NKF (Neues Kampfflugzeug - New Combat Aircraft), together with the Typhoon, F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-35A and again the Gripen E (in turn withdrawn during evaluations...); in this case the winner the F-35A (this time approved in a further vote).
Made up of a shell made of carbon fibre, aramid fibre and epoxy resin, the helmet is provided on the outside with a fireproof coating. The inner lining consists of an expanded polystyrene liner to provide impact and puncture protection. The liner is covered with a velvet lining, with the possibility to install a set of four adjustment pads made of different types of foam and leather.
The helmet is fitted with two protective visors: an internal dark and a clear external one. A visor cover provides protection for the clear visor and allows installation of a set of night vision goggles by a dedicated bracket.
The acoustic protection system consists of two thermoplastic injection-moulded earpieces that hold the earphone pads, and two ergonomically shaped cushions. These earpieces are attached to the inside of the shell by Velcro strips.
The distinctive design chinstrap is secured to the left side of the shell. The helmet is certified for ejection speed up to 625 knots.
It can be used with oxygen masks such as ULMER type 82, 87 or UA21S. Our pictured helmet is fitted with the latter of the AR (Armée de l' Air) version. The ULMER UA21S is available in five sizes. According the manufacturer its profile ensures:
- Good comfort;
- Reduced weight minimising physical constraints and fatigue;
- Centre of gravity close to that of the head allowing a good hold on the face during acceleration;
- Proper seal, even during overpressure breathing;
- Good downward visibility also with reclined seat;
- Face protection (as for bird strike) and against fire;
- Integrity and stability of the mask during high-speed ejections.