We’ve been following the development, trials (and tribulations) of the new “Netherlands Fractal Material” camouflage pattern (in both a temperate and arid version). The one thing we’ve not had so far was any kind of official clarification of when / if it was going to be introduced.
Well, that’s changed now. About 2 weeks ago the Dutch MoD reveiled it’s future plans in a new brochure, including the new project “Defensie Operationeel Kledingsysteem” or literally translated, “Defence Operational Clothing System”. Thanks to Robert Hendrik we have an English translation of the relevant section of the Dutch MoD booklet…
Planned introduction date: 2014-2016
The project “Defence Operational Clothing System” was set up to phase-in a new combat uniform for the Dutch armed forces. The current combat uniform was introduced in the 1990′s. Ever since the introduction of the current uniform, the deployment of the armed forces has changed a lot, with Dutch troops now operating and training worldwide in different environments with a variety of climates.
The current clothing line, especially compared to technological advances, no longer meets the requirements set by the Ministry of Defence. Also, the current shortcomings of the current clothing line cannot be fixed with simple modifications.
This leads to the need to replace the current combat uniforms. The main priorities of the new clothing system being safety, individual protection, robustness, durability and comfort so that the troops will be able to perform optimally under a wide range of circumstances and environments.
The Defence Operational Clothing System will replace the current clothing line from 2015 onwards.
Consistency with the set policy
The project fits the aim of individual troops and units to be better protected. The clothing is meant for world wide deployment, regardless of the threat. The introduction of the Defence Operational Clothing System adds to a more effective deployment of Dutch troops. The introduction will be MoD wide, and will lead to a more streamlined set of equipment and simplification of supplying and maintaining equipment.
P.S. As they say in the infomercials – “BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!” Just when it seemed clear that the saga of the new Dutch camo was about to have a happy ending (no pun intended), it seems to have turned into a re-run of The Never-ending Story… According to an industry insider over in The Netherlands, austerity measures have apparently put the camo program back in the TBD file. Instead of a new camo pattern and BDU, Dutch troops will instead get an interim, “upgraded” BDU in the existing Dutch DPM pattern.