The Indian Army has decided to introduce a new digital pattern combat uniform for officers and men from next year. The Army is also working on a new regular uniform, which will be vastly different from the olives in use now, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the defence establishment told ThePrint that the new combat uniform, which will be a mix of colours including olive and earthen, has been finalised by the Army headquarters and will be showcased at the Army Day Parade on 15 January 2022 in the national capital.
Formally known as camouflages or battle dress uniforms (BDU), they are the standard uniform for combat.
These uniforms are camouflaged, either in monochrome such as shades of green or brown to blend in with the background or in a disruptive pattern like what the Indian Navy and certain central armed police forces have.
Sources said that the implementation of the new uniform, which has been shortlisted after a study focused on various uniforms worn by major Armies across the world, will be rolled out next year itself and it will cater to both officers and men.
Army Looking To Change Regular Uniform Too
The Army is also in the process of changing its regular olive uniform. No final decision, however, has been taken yet. The sources said that one of the ideas is to have different coloured pants and shirts.
Sources said that the new combat uniform will be made of “lighter but sturdy material”, which will be suitable for both summer and winters.
They also said that under the new uniform, there will be no tucking in of shirts, unlike the current style.
“The uniform has been selected keeping the comfort of the soldier in combat in mind,” a source said, adding that a need to change the uniform has been felt for a long time, keeping modern warfare in mind.
Moreover, various central armed police forces, state police and even insurgents in the northeast had started wearing similar uniforms.
The Army had last year requested the Defence Ministry and the Home Ministry to issue guidelines against wearing combat uniforms while handling law and order situations or in urban areas affected by terrorism.
Asked whether the uniform will be distributed to soldiers or whether they will have to buy it from authorised stores for which they will be reimbursed, sources said the process is still being worked out.
It was also not clear whether the new combat uniform will have shoulder and collar tags like the present or blackened ones for better camouflage.
The shoulder stripes — denoting rank — could also be moved to the front buttons, sources said adding it is a pattern followed by other major armies also.
The Navy had last year introduced a new camouflage uniform.