In the first redesign of the Combat Uniform since the 1950s, the transition to CADPAT now withstanding, the Canadian military is releasing the Improved Combat Uniform (fr. UNIFORME DE COMBAT AMÃ‰LIORÃ‰ (UCA)) beginning in 2012. This is not the introduction of a new uniform but rather an improvement of the existing issue item based on operational feedback.
The most striking change is that it becomes more ACU-like with 17 changes based on recent operational feedback. Production should commence in June 2012.
In particular, the ICU will incorporate these features:
â€¢Flat Chest Pockets
â€¢Pockets: Arms + pen pockets on sleeves
â€¢Velcro attachment on sleeve cuffs
â€¢No more draw strings
â€¢Integrated kneepads (two models trialled: “green” and “grey”)
User acceptance trials and working group have already been completed with a design freeze anticipated for No Later Than 11 August. As this is planned as a rolling upgrade to the current pattern, fielding priorities will go to combat units and over time include the entire force.
There are two ironies at work here. The first is obviously that the uniform is becoming more ACU-like even as US Soldiers complain of the ACUs features. The second is that the uniform improvements won’t be fielded until Canadian combat troops have left Afghanistan.
One last thing I forgot to add. The CF Operational Clothing Team made it very clear that the uniform would remain in CADPAT and would NOT be MultiCam.
All photos Canada DND