OPS-CORE was the company to coin the term FAST (Future Assault Shell Technology) with the launch of their high cut style helmets around 2005. These ops-core fast high cut helmets quickly found their way into use by special operations around the globe. They were lighter weight than a standard MICH helmet, and most importantly gave enough room to accommodate communications headsets either under the fast helmet or attached to the side via adapters.
Since this fast helmet accessories, and upgrades have evolved significantly. Even to the point of even higher cuts being made such as the example of the ops-core fast sf super high cut helmet.
If you haven't already check out our fast helmet ballistic comparison guide to give you and idea on what is currently on the market!
High Cut Helmets Before FAST Helmets
While OPS-CORE may have branded the term fast helmet, this style of helmet was nothing new. You will find ancient military helmets like the Galea helmets of the Roman Empire that feature cut-outs around the ear and accessories that can be added on in these areas to offer additional protection. For a quick history of combat helmets check out this link. evolution-of-the-combat-helmet. A little further along though, we have the CVC helmets or Combat Vehicle Crewman's helmet. These were fiberglass, and later kevlar helmets that were cut to allow inter-vehicle communications. Almost identical to fast helmet comms setups.
Fast Helmet Accessories
Came along with the launch of the OPS-CORE helmet, and included fast helmet accessories to meet just about any mission set. These ballistic helmet accessories included things such as mounts for strobes, lights, comms, cameras, counterweights, fast helmet cover, and much more. The vast number of accessories for ballistic helmets continues to grow.
Fast Bump Helmet
Another term that brings a little bit of confusion, but typically refers to a high cut style helmet that is not ballistically rated. These helmets are typically made out of a polymer plastic or carbon fiber to give the user an extra lightweight tactical helmet. Ops-Core used to call their bump helmet the FAST Base Jump and it provided blunt-trauma protection. These have become the fast helmet airsoft choice as they provide the look and functionality without the cost of a ballistic helmet. They are also ideal for search and rescue, nvg platforms, or recreational use. A number of other companies make similar helmets that are of a fast bump helmet style. One such example would be the Team Wendy EXFIL LTP shown below or our ATE bump helmet!
FAST Helmets the catch-all term
Currently on the market just about every single helmet manufacturer offers some type of fast helmet for sale. Here at Hard Head Veterans, we are hard headed and like things simple, so we call ours the ATE Ballistic Helmet or Above The Ear. Others call their helmets Combat High Cut, EXFIL, FLUX, Delta or some other term, but if there cut is above the ear most people are going to refer to them as a fast helmet. We hope we did a better job explaining fast helmets then the fast helmet wiki page did, but as always if you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out to the team here at Hard Head Veterans!