Way back in 2008 the Netherlands Ministry of Defence announced that it was working on the development of a new national camouflage pattern, to be used in conjunction with a full set of redesigned and modernized combat clothing and equipment. In 2011 the new “Netherlands Fractal Pattern” was revealed, and in 2019 it was finally announced that a family of 4 colorways of this pattern geometry had been officially adopted.
Now commonly referred to as M19 NFP (Netherlands Fractal Pattern), the family would include NFP-Green for verdant environments, NFP-Tan for arid ones, NFP-Navy for on-board ship use, and NFP-Arctic for snow-covered environments. There is also a 5th colorway called NFP-Multitone which is used for individual combat and load-carrying gear. For a great up-close look at the 3 main patterns, as well as the gear and uniforms that have been issued thus far, check out this article by our friends at JointForces.com
The new Dutch armed forces Individueel Soldaat Systeem (ISS) in the new NFP colorways will include a modular combat equipment system known as the Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaat Systeem (VOSS) and a new clothing system called the Defensie Operationeel Kleding System (DOKS). The heart of the VOSS system is a newly developed “smart” vest with an integrated power source and situational awareness /communication capabilities, and the new clothing system incorporates FR protection.
The DOKS program calls for the acquisition of 40,000 basic clothing sets, but it appears that the Leopard tank crews of the German-Netherlands 414 Tank Battalion is the only unit so far to have received the new combat suits. Meanwhile, several units have begun to receive the new individual PPE and load carrying equipment in NFP-Multitone camouflage.
In an update from the Netherlands Ministry of Defence released today, it was announced however that the full roll-out of the new combat clothing has been delayed for at least another year. State Secretary Barbara Visser announced to the Dutch House of Representatives today that the new NFP camo clothing system won’t begin until mid-2023 at the earliest. The cause of the further delay is because one of the bidders on the project has challenged the reasons for their rejection from the program. Following an internal review of the procurement documents, it appears that the Dutch Ministry of Defence did find that there could be some grounds for confusion and misinterpretation, so they decided to withdraw the provisional contract award.
While the Dutch MoD untangles the issues with the procurement of the advanced DOKS clothing system, they have decided to proceed with an interim improved temperate combat clothing set – which is based on the style of the Dutch Marine Corps woodland camo BDUs, but in the NFP-Green camouflage pattern. Out of all the currently available options that are also within the available budget, this combat suit scored the best in terms of good fit, comfort and appearance. This interim clothing package it due to be phased in from mid-2021, and will have no financial consequences for the completion and roll-out of the DOKS program.
All non-deployed troops, as well as Reservists, will receive the new Marine BDU-style uniform in NFP camo. Soldiers being deployed on overseas missions will continue to utilize MultiCam camo uniforms.
All photos and information courtesy of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.