The Indian army will unveil the new digital combat uniform on January 15, Army Day. The decision to introduce the change in apparel was taken at an Army Commanders’ Conference, which took place in October 2021. As per government officials, the new uniform will be showcased in the Army Day parade and features digital disruptive patterns.
The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has worked in close coordination with the Indian army to come up with the design for this suit, which guarantees comfort while ensuring operational efficiency.
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The Indian army examined 15 unique patterns of camouflage, four different designs, and eight kinds of fabrics, before zeroing in on the upcoming outfit. It will take a couple of years to make the shift since it’ll be distributed across regiments to clothe the almost 13-lakh strong force.
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Reports suggest that the new uniform will have the same colour percentage as the current version, which has a mix of shades and colours including earthen and olive tones. A major stylistic change will no longer require Indian soldiers to tuck in their shirts once the new uniform is rolled out. However, the trousers will be tucked inside the boots.
The trousers will also have more pockets, allowing soldiers to carry more during their missions. Further, the choice of material for the cloth is touted as being lighter but sturdier than before. This makes the uniform suitable for hot and cold weather variations. It’ll also be quick drying.
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These uniforms will be made available in 13 sizes, and have a cotton to polyester ratio of 70:30.
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However, the most distinct departure that the new battle dress uniform (BDU) will have is that it will no longer be available on the open market. The Indian army has taken a lot of trouble to ensure that the earlier practice, where soldiers could buy cloth from the market to get their uniform stitched, is no longer continued.
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This decision comes against the backdrop of repeated requests by the Indian army to the Union home and defence ministries about issuing guidelines preventing police and paramilitary forces from donning combat uniforms while tackling law and order situations or operating in terrorism affected urban areas.