Air 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.