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Canada Tranistioning to Enhanced Combat Uniform

Just one year ago we posted an article about Canada’s plan to transition to an “Improved Combat Uniform” based on their current issue item. The plan was to begin issue of this garment which integrates 17 improvements over the legacy garment starting in 2012.

Now, the Canadian DND has released a solicitation for what is termed an “Enhanced Combat Uniform.” It consists of Converged trousers and coats, combat, lightweight, CADPAT (Temperate Woodland and Arid Region). Converged means that it meets the requirements of both Army and Air Force.

The ECU Coat incorporates the following features –
a. stand up collar;
b. single breasted front closure with covered buttons;
c. loop fastener tape for rank badge on front fly cover;
d. loop fastener tape for name tape on right breast;
e. pockets with vertical slide fastener at the breast;
f. pockets with hook and loop flap at the hip area;
g. set-in two piece sleeves with hook and loop tab wrist closure;
h. semi-bellows pocket with vertical slide and loop for removable CADPAT patch on both
left and right upper sleeves;
i. double pencil pocket with hook and loop flap and web pull on both lower sleeves;
j. one-piece elbow reinforcement patches;
k. yoke;
l. action back; and
m. waist suppression at each back side.

These drawings will give you an idea of what the ECU Coat will look like.

The ECU Trouser incorporate the following features –

a. loose fitting;
b. two-way slide fastener fly front opening with button and loop assembly and tab closure on
c. elasticated waistband on each back side;
d. front hip quarter-cut pockets with flap and hook and loop fastener;
e. semi-bellows patch pockets with covered buttoning flaps on side seams, thigh level;
f. front thigh to knee reinforcement panel with knee pad casing, hook and loop fasteners and
pull tab;
g. semi-bellows with double pencil pocket and flap with hook and loop fastener and pull tab;
h. back hip pockets with flap and hook and loop fasteners;
i. reinforced seat;
j. bottom leg hook and loop tab closure, with elasticated drawstring, cord lock and cord pull;
k. storm cuffs; and
l. six belt loops.

These drawings will give you an idea of what the ECU Trousers will look like

The ECU will continue to be issued in CADPAT-TW and AR and will not be offered in any other patterns. Additionally, the Hybrid Combat Shirt will be issued for deployed operations making the ECU Jacket the de facto top for domestic operations.

All photos DND


17 Responses to “Canada Tranistioning to Enhanced Combat Uniform”

  1. Balazs B. J. de Berzsenyi says:

    Just a quick note: the schematics for the pants/trousers are missing.
    B. J.

  2. MattF says:

    Can you post the line drawing picture of ‘Figure 4’ for the ECU Coat?

  3. Strike-Hold! says:

    Looks pretty good – apart from the stupid hip “cargo” pockets on the jacket.

    • MattF says:

      The hip cargo pockets aren’t unlike those on a traditional smock, just that the Canadians have been doing them since the 1960s on lightweight nyco fabric rather than the heavier cotton gaberdines and polycottons that the Brits and others have used.

      When I was in the CFs I actually found the hip cargo pockets extremely useful, however it did make tucking your shirt into your trousers almost impossible. Since the ECU will primarily be used in garrison and training environments in Canada and overseas in permissive type environments I think that it’ll be an ok 80% solution.

      If you don’t like the lower hip cargo pockets, I suppose that the user can ‘illegally’ modify his/her uniform by unstitching them.

      • Strike-Hold! says:

        I was thinking of them from the perspective of the fact that they would be more or less useless under web gear or body armor. Even for garrison use I can’t see how they’d be that great, as the shirt is surely cut to close to the body.

        On a looser fitting smock or field jacket though they are quite useful.

        • MattF says:

          The Canadians wear the combat shirt as a pretty loosely worn garment, whereby the only area it’s fitted is around the midsection.

          The lower hip pockets are great for TAMs (Aide Memoire/Flight Crew Checklist type books) and Field Notebooks.

          Properly fitted, the shirt’s hip pockets come down just below the bottom of the ballistic vest allowing access when armour is worn. When/if you wear web gear on the hips, then yes, the pockets will become covered (just as they do with a smock), however the current issue Canadian Tactical Vest is worn relatively high on the torso and doesn’t interfere too badly with the hip pockets.

          • Strike-Hold! says:

            Okay – thanks Matt.

          • VPMark says:

            I disagree Matt, I’ve always found the hip pockets useless for holding anything other than my beret. Also this uniform is supposed to be cut slimmer, more in line with ACU then our current combats.

          • CanadianSoldier says:

            I have never used the hip pockets, and never plan on it. The minute you put anything in them, the uniform sags and starts flopping around when you move, even if you cinched up the drawstrings. I hope the ECU hip pockets are far less obtrusive. I don’t plan on using these ones, either.

  4. Marcos says:

    almost no slotted buttons?! Heresy!!

    i hope they realize that having hidden buttons (where they are left) means more layers of fabric that hinders breathablity (sp?) and makes hotspots in those areas. iirc, the MARPAT trousers have 7 layers of fabric in the flap area…

  5. Ryan says:

    Having used both hidden and non hidden buttons I can say that I prefer hidden. If you are working around cam nets like we did you will instantly realize they have there place.

  6. PaulD says:

    I’m not entirely convinced of the longevity of all that velcro. What’s been the experience of our ACU-wearing counterparts?

  7. Canadian says:

    Velcro is a terrible idea, even the velcro we have on our current uniforms falls apart. The hip pockets on the shirt I find useful however. We don’t wear our uniforms tightly, and having never been issued a “body armour shirt” I have used those pockets even under armour. You simply have to pull the bottom of the shirt down when wearing armour. Also, most of us wear our combat shirts OVER our armour so that you don’t have yet another layer of soaked and bunched up cotton.
    Overall it’s an imperfect improvement.

    • Canuck says:

      It’s worth mentionning for those unfamiliar with the canadian issue equipement that the armor is currently worn separately (flakjacket), so it allows to do that, and then put the tacvest on top.

      If the MOLLE plate carriers that were tested in Afghanistan are adopted for general issue (anyone has news on these tests?), doing what you’re suggesting won’t be possible anymore.

      Also, yeah too much velcro s*cks. It doesn’t work well when there’s sand, snow or generally any kind of dirt. While it’s OK for patches (as once they’re there, you usually don’t take them on-and-off, using them for pockets means higher possibility of loosing the contents.

      And Velcro is noisy.

      • Canadian says:

        I don’t know of any plate carriers that were adopted for regular army trial or issue. What was trialed was different types of molle/pals vests. We will not be issued plate carriers- as our current plates are not rated as a stand alone, only with the soft armour. Also, our armour is not rated to hold weight so we will not get molle/pals directly on the armour (which I think would be a bad idea anyway).

        • VPMark says:

          I know that the trial vests issued to either the RCR or Vandoos had front and rear plate pockets, soft armour would be worn in the FPV and plates in the rig, realistically, chances are that if you don’t need your vest you don’t need your plates, crew / drivers / maybe artillery being exceptions, but the plates can go in the FPV anyways.

          • Canadian@ says:

            I am on trial for the new vest now, we do the same thing with the old gear, plates in frag vest, the new vest is good but the only problem is strapping it on by yourself, you usually need a buddy to strap you up, other than that its good to go, i don’t want to give it back, its made by an Australian company.
            its under chest rigs if you want to check it out.