The Indian Army
is all set to don its new combat uniform. The new camouflages – as they are referred to in service, with digital disruptive patterns, will be out for public viewing this army day – January 15. The new combat uniform has been designed by the students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in close coordination with army officials and is likely to be introduced for the 1.3 million strong army by the end of this month in a phased manner.
The decision to change the combat gear of the Indian army was taken at the recently concluded Army Commander’s Conference in the wake of increased misuse of the existing uniforms by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the militants in the North-East.
How will Army prevent misuse of new uniform?
Speaking to Defence Watch on how the army will prevent the misuse of this uniform, a source privy to the process and belonging to the top echelons of the Indian Army said, “To ensure that the uniform is not misused by elements impersonating as army personnel, which poses a grave threat to national security, a bidding process for supplying the material for the clothing will be carried out, which will be open for private and government sector players and the sale of these clothing will be prohibited in the open market”.
Apart from security concerns, the change of combat uniform was also necessitated because police and paramilitary forces were wearing similar pattern camouflages while deployed in internal security duties causing confusion among the public and a perception that the Indian Army was being utilised for regular law and order duties.
In fact, the Army had requested the Union Defence Ministry had Home Ministry to issue guidelines to security forces restricting them to wearing the army-pattern camouflages when indulged in security duties.
New uniform will not require ‘tuck-in’
Defence Watch has also learnt that the Indian Army’s new uniform will not require the soldiers to tuck in their shirt as is the current practice and the change is not restricted to combats only as a proposal to change the regular Olive Green uniform has also been mooted.
It is not the first time that the uniform of the Indian Army is being changed. The Navy
, incidentally, had replaced its light blue and navy-blue uniform set with a digital camouflage pattern last year. The Air Force had also moved on from Khaki to its current blue pattern at the beginning of the 90s.
(Defence Watch– India’s Defence Business News centre that places the spotlight on Defence Manufacturing, Defence Technology, Strategy and Military affairs is on Twitter. Follow us here and stay updated.)