New Delhi: The Army is set to don a new combat uniform starting later this month, featuring digital disruptive patterns.
The uniform, designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in close coordination with the Army, seeks to make soldiers more comfortable and is also operationally friendly.
Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the plan is to have an open tender, with participation of both private and state-owned entities, for manufacturing and supply of the new camouflages or battle dress uniforms (BDU).
They said that while the uniform will be first showcased at the Army Day Parade on 15 January, it will start getting issued to officers and soldiers in batches.
Unlike the current practice, wherein the soldier can buy cloth from the market and get his uniform stitched, the new disruptive-patterned cloth won’t be available in the open market.
“The plan is to ensure that it is not available in the open market. There would be a tendering process and the uniforms would be stitched in various sizes, just like in the case of readymade garments, which would then be supplied to various units and formations,” a source said.
The defence sources added that the tendering process for making uniforms for the nearly 13 lakh-strong Army will be open to both private and state-run enterprises.
The Army had earlier requested the Union defence and home ministries to issue guidelines against the wearing of combat uniforms by police and paramilitary forces while handling law and order situations, or in urban areas affected by terrorism.
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Same colour percentage as earlier
The new uniform will maintain the same colour percentage as in the present uniform, which is a mix of colours and shades, including olive and earthen.
As reported by ThePrint, unlike the current style, there will be no tucking in of shirts.
The trousers will have additional pockets for the ease of the soldier. The material chosen for the cloth is meant to be “lighter but sturdier” and suitable for both summer and winter.
It was not immediately clear whether the new combat uniform will have shoulder and collar tags like the present one, or blackened ones for better camouflage.
Also, the shoulder stripes — denoting rank — could be moved to the front buttons, a pattern followed by other major armies as well.
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)
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