Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that local production of the ‘MultiCam” combat uniform worn by our troops in Afghanistan is now underway and the first troops to wear this new uniform will deploy in the next few weeks.
The new uniforms have been issued to soldiers from 7RAR in Adelaide and RAAF Airfield Defence Guards who will deploy to Afghanistan in the near future.
In November 2010 the Chief of Army ordered that Australian troops operating ‘outside the wire’ in Afghanistan were to wear the MultiCam combat uniform.
Versions of the MultiCam combat uniform are worn by US, British and Australian troops in Afghanistan. It provides a greater level of concealment across the range of terrains in Afghanistan – urban, desert and green.
The uniforms have:
- Integrated elbow and knee pads to reduce soft tissue injuries;
- Shirts which are cooler and designed to be worn under body armour;
- Trousers with a padded waist band to make them more comfortable under webbing or a field pack; and
- Trousers with more pockets and a stretch fabric at the joints for ease of movement.
To get the uniforms to Australian troops quickly, they were originally purchased from the US manufacturer Crye Precision.
Last year Defence purchased a license from Crye Precision to manufacture this uniform in Australia. Crye Precision was also engaged to develop our own unique version of the MultiCam camouflage pattern.
Three options for an 'Australianised' MultiCam pattern were developed, each with equivalent performance to the US MultiCam. Based on initial feedback from soldiers, the preferred design underwent testing in a range of environments and terrains prior to final selection.
The new uniform is produced by Pacific Brands WorkWear Group in West Footscray. The camouflage fabric is produced by Bruck Textiles in Wangaratta.
Approximately 3,600 sets of the new Australian MultiCam uniforms have been ordered. The value of this work is approximately $780,000. A further 5,500 uniforms will be ordered later this year to equip soldiers deploying next year.
“This is the best uniform for the work we do in Afghanistan. It provides better concealment and makes it easier for our soldiers to do their job.” Mr Clare said.
“The feedback I have received from troops has been very positive. They have told me this is the uniform they want, and Australian industry has delivered.”
Several changes have been made to the original US design, based on feedback from Australian troops in Afghanistan.
This includes stronger fabric and modifications to a number of pockets and other parts of the uniform to improve functionality and durability.
Media contact: Annie Williams – 0428 040 522