The Indian military examined 15 proprietary camouflage patterns, four different pattern types and eight different fabric options before focusing on the final combat uniform it is expected to adopt later this month, sources said. defense at News18.com.
The new combat uniform will be unveiled on Army Day January 15 and will then be distributed to all personnel on a phased basis. According to the sources, it may take a few years for the military to fully transition to the new combat uniform with the current storage and supply systems in place.
A defense source said the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) – which was responsible for the design and development of the combat uniform – provided the military with the options of 15 proprietary camouflage patterns, four different models each for men and women and eight types of fabrics for the uniform.
“The options have been evaluated by the military and four camouflage patterns, three patterns and five fabrics have been shortlisted,” the source said.
“More than 150 members of the army divided into two infantry brigades, an artillery brigade and a Delhi military police unit received 15 sets of combat uniforms which were in different combinations of patterns, designs and of pre-screened fabrics, ”the source said.
The final prototype of the uniform was selected based on their feedback and presented to all Army commanders at the Army Commanders’ Conference in October last year. The general-in-chief of the army, MM Naravane, had given his agreement in principle to this uniform.
A second source said that at present around 300 pieces of the approved prototype of the uniform are being manufactured for all command headquarters to familiarize all personnel. This also includes 10 to 20 made-to-measure uniforms. The commands where female army personnel are stationed in units of the Military Police Corps will be provided around a dozen additional sets.
Take a look at the new uniform
The sources cited above have stated that the new uniform will have a digital camouflage pattern that is exclusive and unique to the force. The contemporary design will have the jackets folded up and the pants tucked inside the boots.
The fabric will be light, but stronger and dry quickly, making it more comfortable for troops on operations. The new uniform will be available in 13 sizes and the fabric is a combination of cotton and polyester in a 70:30 ratio.
Unlike the current combat uniform which is also available on the open market, the new uniform will only be issued to troops through the ammunition chain.
“For officers, the option of keeping the cloth in army canteens is under consideration,” said the first source cited above.
A tender could be put out to manufacture the new combat uniforms which will see the participation of private companies and defense power packs. According to the sources, it is under discussion whether it should be a limited tender to only invite reputable suppliers and avoid theft in the open market.
The lifespan of the current combat uniform is approximately 18 months. It was introduced in 2008 and has since lost its novelty due to its easy availability in the civilian market. Hence the need to find a better and modern fabric for more utility and comfort.
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