M40/M42-Series Field Protective Mask
Provide respiratory, eye and face protection against chemical and biological agents, radioactive fallout particles, and battlefield contaminants.
The M40-series protective masks replace the M17-series protective mask as the standard Army field mask, providing improved comfort, fit and protection. The mask consists of a silicone rubber face piece with an in-turned peripheral face seal, binocular rigid eye lens system and elastic head harness. Other features include front and side voicemitters allowing better communication particularly when operating FM communications, drink tube for a drinking capability while being worn, clear and tinted inserts, and a filter canister with NATO standard threads. Because of these features, the mask can be worn continuously for 8 to 12 hours.
The face-mounted canister (gas and aerosol filter) can be worn on either the left or the right cheek, and will withstand a maximum of 15 nerve, choking, and blister agent attacks. It will also withstand a maximum of two blood agent attacks. Biological agents do not degrade the filter.
The M40A1 is the mask issued to dismounted soldiers. It is available in small, medium, and large sizes.
The M42A2 Combat Vehicle Crewman Mask has the same components as the M40A1 with an additional built-in microphone for wire communication. The filter canister is attached to the end of the hose with an adapter for the CPFU connection.
The M45 Protective Mask, issued to Blackhawk crew members, provides protection without the aid of forced ventilation air. It is compatible with aircraft sighting systems and night vision devices. It has close fitting eyepieces, a voicemitter, drink tube, and a low profile filter canister.
The M48 and M49 masks, issued to Apache aviators, are an upgrade of the M43 Type I mask. Their improved blower is chest-mounted, lighter, less bulky, and battery powered.
Several mask improvements have been introduced over the years through Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I) Programs, which resulted in M40A1 and M40A2 configurations. The improvements include a quick-doff hood, second skin, canister interoperability (M42A1 only), and voice amplification (M7), new nosecup, two new carriers, and improved vision correction. An additional product improvement was adopted in late 1994, which upgraded the M42 to the M42A2 configuration. This change provides a detachable microphone that improves reliability, simplifies production, and permits field replacements.