In an effort to stem unauthorised proliferation of new pattern combat dress of the Indian Army, Military Police along with Delhi police are carrying out an awareness campaign in the Delhi Cantonment. Talking to Financial Express Online, sources said, “In April 2022, on the new combat uniform which was unveiled in January this year, the Indian Army has already established the ownership on the pattern and design. They have applied to the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks. And now the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) processes are expected soon.”
To be available next month
According to sources, by August, the newly introduced combat uniform is going to be available through the Central Procurement and Canteen Stores Department (CSD). All Army personnel will buy the material from the CSD and get it stitched as per their measurements and this will be to supplement the combat uniforms which have been issued to them as part of personal kit under Life Cycle Clothing.
According to sources two major issues have been flagged in respect of the new combat uniform. These include: Security concern and the fear of serving personnel wearing unauthorised pattern combat dress.
The major cause of concern is security — because of the uncontrolled proliferation of existing combat uniforms, there have been vulnerabilities in security in the military establishments. Now, the Indian Army has chalked out plans to take tough action against the dealers who are selling unauthorised but almost similar looking uniforms (read patterns) and fabric.
There are several shops stocking and selling unauthorised variants of the new combat pattern of the Indian Army. Because of this unauthorised material being available in the market, there is fear that any inimical elements would easily buy the material and get it tailored and then try to get into the military establishments.
Two Pronged Approach
Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online that instructions have been issued which have prohibited any serving Army personnel to purchase the new patterned uniform from unauthorised vendors.
Once the IPR process is completed, the Army will be able to take legal action and subsequently prosecute the unauthorized shopkeeper selling the combat dress material.
Earlier this week on Monday keeping in line with the security requirements, in coordination with Army authorities Delhi police went around sensitizing the shopkeepers in the Delhi Cantonment area. The purpose of this intervention was to dissuade them from selling unauthorised combat uniforms. “In the interest of national security, they have agreed to cooperate with the authorities,” sources said.
All you want to know about the new uniform
Financial Express Online had reported earlier this year that the new patterned and designed combat uniform was unveiled during the annual Army day Parade in New Delhi. All the soldiers of the Indian army will now be seen in the combat uniform, which will also cater for gender specific changes for women combatants. The Army plans to provide the best quality, stronger and operational digital camouflage pattern, which is suitable for all terrains, it is lighter, and stronger.
The new uniform is unique said sources as the creation of it has an exclusive digital camouflage pattern – which is contemporary & functional design. The fabric is more breathable and stronger. And it is because of this reason that the Indian Army wants to adopt control measures in an effort to maintain its exclusivity.
A deliberate roll-out plan
The Indian Army Headquarters has plans to roll out with the new design and pattern gradually. And the aim is to ensure that the entire Army has the new combat uniform by 2025. This has been done keeping in mind the availability of the stocks and the life of the present uniforms the personnel are wearing.
This new uniform has been designed based on the collaboration between the Indian Army and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Financial Express Online had reported in January that the NIFT had a team of eight members – professors and students who worked on the design of the uniform based on the specifications and requirements of the army.
What is different?
It is effective operationally; designed ergonomically.
Now, there is no need to have different sets of uniforms for different terrains. So far there are different sets of uniforms for desert warfare, jungle warfare.
Besides the disruptive pattern, there are few changes in the new uniform.
The fabric is very light, and the design is to protect the personnel against the tough climatic conditions in different terrain.
It is very comfortable, according to the Indian Army and it has camouflage and will now increase survivability.
The NIFT had experimented with four different fabrics; and eight different designs and almost 15 different patterns before the final design was firmed up and locked.
About the Fabric
It is a combination of cotton and polyester – 70:30 ratio. And, more durable during summers and winters.
The Disruptive Pattern
There is a mix of colours. Earthen shades, and Olive Green—as the uniform is meant to be worn during summers and extreme weather conditions and will be worn in different terrains.
The new uniform is multi-terrain friendly, and will also act as a camouflage. The soldiers will not tuck in, and there will be a T-shirt inside with a digital disruptive pattern and is more like a pixelated design. And for women officers, slight modifications have been made.
What was the need to change the uniform?
The change has been done due to security concerns. And the changes have been made after several rounds of discussions with all the stakeholders and also studying the uniform patterns and designs of other countries.