Protecting British armed forces against hearing loss and damage
In 2010 the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) made it a priority to offer the Armed Forces better protection against hearing damage and loss.
A team from Soldier, Training & Special Programmes (STSP) within the DE&S Land Equipment domain procured three Tactical Hearing Protection Systems (THPS) - the Basic User (BU), the Specialist User (SU) and the Dismounted Close Combat User (DCCU).
Ensuring situational awareness
Among other noise factors, the team from STSP identified that the main sound contributing to hearing damage was impulse noise from firing weapons. In addition to hearing protection, they also had to simultaneously provide understandable audio and allow soldiers to retain situational awareness so they could operate as effectively as possible.
The INVISIO system was first introduced in 2015 and has since been deployed to about 30,000 soldiers in the British Army, Army Reserve, Royal Navy and RAF with positive results.