in Defence

New hearing protection for British soldiers hits ISD ahead of schedule

Posted 20 April 2016 · Add Comment

A new hearing protection system for UK Dismounted Close Combat soldiers provided by Marlborough Communications, part of Cohort plc, has achieved its in service date (ISD) three months ahead of schedule.

The INVISIO S10 Tactical Hearing Protection Systems for the Dismounted Close Combat User. (THPS DCCU) is an in-ear hearing protection and communication system for use on a single radio and consists of an in-ear hearing protection headset with control unit housing the electronics for situational awareness and impulse noise protection. As a result of the early ISD, Initial Operating Capability for the system has also been declared five months ahead of schedule.

MCL and its Danish partner INVISIO Communications A/S has supplied the S10 Hearing Protection capability with a full support package for the next four years, with the option to extend for a further three years. The initial order was worth £11.2M and further orders are expected to support the Royal Navy, RAF and Reservists.

The system has undergone rigorous testing and user trials and is proven to address the key issues surrounding hearing protection, situational awareness (SA), ease of use and comfort.

MCL Managing Director Darren Allery commented: “The S10 is a major innovative step forward in soldier health and safety, building on our supply of Tactical In-Ear Protection Plugs as part of the Tactical Hearing Protection System for the Basic User Soldier (THPS BU). Working closely with our partner INVISIO and the MoD, we were able to introduce this new capability into service before time by taking advantage of our agility and unique capability in this area.

“This ‘fit and forget’ hearing protection also provides unrivalled situational awareness, crystal clear communications and importantly can be customised to ensure optimum comfort during operations, even in high noise environments.”

Allan Aird, MoD Head of Command and Battlespace Management Soldier, Training and Special Programmes Delivery Team, said: “This fantastic achievement has been enabled by a close working relationship fostered between STSP, MCL and INVISIO. Achieving such a key milestone so early in the programme is testament to the hard work and dedication of both teams in delivering such a key piece of capability to the user. The CBM team very much look forward to continuing this relationship throughout the service life of the equipment.”

Besides offering better prevention of hearing damage, the INVISIO S10 offers increased mission success by separating radio communication and situational awareness to enable unimpeded situational awareness in both ears even when transmitting and receiving radio traffic.

It provides unrivalled SA in three selectable modes to ensure the soldier can communicate effectively irrespective of the noise environment. Natural hearing mode is equivalent to the human natural hearing and enables face to face communications, while comfort mode reduces the ambient sound level in high noise environments such as in tracked vehicles or on air platforms. This mode makes travelling in vehicles less noise intensive. Enhanced mode is effective when operating in the dark to provide greater sound awareness of immediate surroundings

The INVISIO S10 in-ear headset also offers unsurpassed comfort and crystal clear communications.  Instead of traditional sound wave technology, the patented INVISIO Bone Conduction Technology uses a small and comfortable in-ear microphone that picks up vibrations from the user’s jawbone. The vibrations are converted into sound, delivering crystal clear communication under extreme conditions, even when whispering.


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