B5 Systems

US Army Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

If you’re a Soldier, a new jungle uniform is in your future. The Army has developed an Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform (IHWCU) for use in hot-wet environments and is working to put it into production.

The two-piece ensemble consists of a Coat and Trouser printed in the Operational Camoufiage Pattern. So far, prototypes have been made from Invista’s Cordura NYCO fabric, a 57/43 blend, which is lighter, faster drying and more breathble than the ACU’s 50/50 NYCO. However, other fabrics are currently under evaluation.

Coat, Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

IHWCU worn by CPT Daniel Ferenczy, APM for Extreme Weather Clothing and Footwear, PM-SPIE, PEO Soldier

-raglan sleeve front with a five (5) button closure
-a fold down collar with a fusible interlining
-long sleeves with cuffs and one (1) button, three (3) buttonholes adjustable cuff tab
-The top of the button down closure is open to accommodate a pen
-front has loop tape to accommodate the Name and US Army Tape
-front placket has a loop tape for the Rank Patch
-coat has two (2) bellow style top opening upper sleeve pockets and includes an eyelet drain-hole
-sleeves have an elbow reinforcement patch
-Both sleeves have an Identification Friend or Foe tab cover that can be opened and closed using hook and loop fastener
-IFF tab cover is centered and sewn onto the sleeve above the upper sleeve pocket
-double turned and cleaned finished hem

Trousers, Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform


(Rear of the IHWCU Trouser, showing the cargo and lower leg pocket layout.)

-covered fly with a four (4) button/ buttonhole closure, or three (3) button/buttonhole closure, depending on size
-seven (7) belt loops
-two (2) side hanging pockets
-two (2) front side pleated cargo pockets with three (3) button/ two (2) buttonhole closure flaps
-high end of cargo pockets at front of pocket rather than rear like ACU
-two (2) lower leg side pockets with one (1) button/ one (1) buttonhole closure flaps
-side cargo pockets shall have three (3) sewn-in eyelets hidden by the bellows
-double needle seat patch and a pleated knee reinforcement incorporated into the pant leg at the knee
-one (1) piece single gusset
-two (2) front side hanging pockets
-mesh fabric attached on the inside of the trousers at the bottom of the legs as inner cuffs
-bottom of the trousers leg hems, the inner cuffs, and the waistband shall have drawstrings

Right now, Natick has issued an RFI to industry in order to identify manufacturers for up to 150,000 sets of the new uniform. However, that number could drastically increase depending on whether the Army decides to make the IHWCU an optional wear item or solely Organizational Clothing & Individual Equipment (OCIE) issue.

25 Responses to “US Army Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform”

  1. Moshjath says:

    I hope they go to that style of shoulder pocket across the board for ACU’s rather than the zippered backwards slanting version we have now.

    • xdarrows says:

      What pencil-pushing rocket scientist decided on that abortion of a modification to the ACU? The pockets on the Army Combat Shirt are awesome, if you want to go with zippers. That backward slant is absolutely ridiculous.

  2. joe says:

    Both the Italian and German uniforms have venting mesh in the armpit. Why not here?

  3. Kirk says:

    Anyone want to take bets on the longevity of the crotches on these, in the initial issue phase?

    I’ll be damned if I can understand why that particular issue keeps coming back, or why the hell the Army hasn’t specified a gusseted crotch in the first damn place.

    One almost starts to suspect that there’s someone with a fetish for ripped-out crotches working at Natick and they keep sabotaging the designs intentionally, ‘cos they like seeing our balls hanging out, or something…

  4. d says:

    Double knee, double elbow, double seat. Double the amount of time it takes those areas to dry out.

    If you’re going to make a jungle uniform, make a jungle uniform.

    • Eddie says:

      Wet knees are better than exposed knees. Same with your other bits. There are tradeoffs.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        True for the elbows and knees – I’m not so sure about the butt though. You get a fair amount of heat and moisture build-up back there when soldiering in the jungle.

        • Pete says:

          Nah, Knees only. I’ve modified regular ACU tops by putting mesh in the pits, cutting out all tags, and cutting out the sleeve pen pocket and the inner layer of the elbow (inner layer is better because the seam is not under your elbow when laying in the prone with a longarm for however long). It works great. Elbows wear out, yes, but nowhere near as fast as knees. And you definitely don’t need no double-layered butt.

          • 22F says:

            I actually like a double layer on the butt.
            I found it prevented mosquitoes from eating my backside when lying on my guts whilst on ambush.

            With my exotic blood type, anythingto keep those mozzies off!

      • Adun says:

        Maybe do a single layer of fabric, but use a different type of fabric that is more abrasion resistant in those areas?

        • jjj0309 says:

          Any abrasion resistant fabric would interfere the breathing and eventually make uniform hotter. Maybe single layer of thin Nylon would work, I don’t know. I have several uniforms with Super Fabric and they’re generally not breath well.

          • Strike-Hold says:

            Superfabric is great for abrasion resistance – but HORRIBLE for breathability.

            • SSD says:

              Unfortunately, so is 50/50 NYCO. Here are some figures I have for comparison.

              NYCO’s air permeability (how well it breathes) is 8 cfm, while Gore’s Katana is 70 Cam and their new Excalibur is 40 cfm.

  5. TPT1731 says:

    I would love a uniform like this. I really hope this doesnt get bogged down and have my fingers crossed that it is a optional wear item.

  6. JM Gavin says:

    I am retiring after 27 years in the Army. I am afflicted with a newly discovered, debilitating mental condition called TMUC. It is a service-connected disability induced by long-term exposure to Too Many Uniform Changes.

    Fortunately, it seems that the symptoms and effects subside after retirement or separation.

    There is hope.

  7. Marine/Army vet says:

    The army needs to stop a changing uniforms like it’s in some fashion show on Broadway. Stick to one and stay with it like the Marines have. When you’re not coming out with a uniform every couple years you’d be surprised how much money you save, plus the soldiers rarely give a crap, if they do it’s about 5% of the branch who are about to retire or ones sitting in an office never wearing them day in and day out. Do a survey and you’ll be shocked by the results, and not just a select few, all ranks and all stations.

  8. ALAN says:

    I have used the old OD and ERDL “Jungle uniforms” as well as those (PCU maybe) made by Patagonia and whoever else,currently.
    OD and ERDL worked pretty good. Patagonia was runner up,tho still okay.

    IDK why “Army Lessons Learned” from the 1st round of Jungle warfare (Vietnam) and\or the 2nd round of Jungle warfare (Central & South America in the 70s through 90s) don’t seem to be remembered,or carry over, or, if they aren’t sure, friggin ASK those who have been to and had to fight in, those environments.

  9. Christopher Joseph Cavanaugh says:


  10. patrulje68 says:

    I am slow it took me a bit to realize that the only shirt pockets are on the sleeves.