According to the video above, troops in the UK are testing out a new bulletproof facemask that could add another level of protection on the battlefield.

The idea of creating a bulletproof mask is nothing new. During the trench warfare of WWI, facial injuries and head wounds were common, as that was often the only part of a soldier poking out from the relative safety of a trench, thus it was more often exposed to enemy fire and shrapnel.

German snipers were known to use steel masks that covered the face and throat with small slits for eye holes and a cutout on the right side so a rifle could be shouldered in a prone position.

A German sniper mask from WWI.
A German sniper mask from WWI. Reddit

British tank drivers also tried out the idea of a shrapnel resistant mask, as detailed in this story from DailyMail UK, which looks like something out of a steampunk comic book.

The modern version is the DEVTAC Ronin Kevlar Ballistic Helmet made of high-tech materials, includes integrated eye protection, and can withstand a rifle round from an AK-47, not that a soldiers head won’t get a good jolt, but it will be intact. The mask includes a helmet component that allows for the mounting of night vision and infrared vision devices.

A WWI British tank driver's anti-shrapnel mask.
A WWI British tank driver’s anti-shrapnel mask.

You might be thinking…it would get pretty hot in that thing, especially during combat in the desert. Luckily, the designers thought of this and the helmet includes its own mini air conditioner.

The helmet is made in Japan and prototypes have been showing up in the gun world for a few years now, and the thing sure does look fierce.

The masks are still be tested and go for about $1,300 each, but they could represent the future of battlefield gear.