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Nordic Combat Uniform project enters field testing phase

OceanBonfire

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The Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU) project is now ready to enter the field-testing phase. Some 480 soldiers from all four Nordic countries will be testing the uniform systems from the final prequalified tenderers. 

In these weeks some 480 soldiers, who are going to take a part in the field-testing phase, will be opening the boxes with the sample uniform systems from the tenderers. That will be the beginning of the comprehensive test period running from December 2019 to May 2020.

The Nordic Combat Uniform Project is a part of Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO). The purpose of the joint Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish Nordic Combat Uniform project (NCU) is to acquire a common flexible combat uniform system that meets the operational requirements of the modern battlefield.

One system, one design, but national camouflage

The NCU clothing system includes uniform configurations from an underwear layer to outer garments, used in European, jungle and desert conditions. The configuration is the same in all countries, but each country will use its own national camouflage pattern in the uniforms. Headgear, gloves, footwear or personal protective equipment are not part of the NCU, and each country will procure those independently. The technical requirements for this purchase are a system approach which meets the operational requirements. This includes Nordic and European combat environment, but also in very cold environment and in extreme warm conditions like in jungle or desert. These functional requirements are based on joint user experience from all four countries and Nordic expertise.

One of the big advantages of a common Nordic Combat Uniform project is the scale of the acquisition. With a contract value of estimated 425 million Euros it has attracted worldwide attention from leading suppliers which creates ground for an increased competition and a more favorable price-quality-ratio.

Experiences from four nations packed into one combat uniform system

Although price is important the greatest advantage of the joint Nordic cooperation is the comprehensive test conducted by around 480 soldiers from the four countries. Test subjects include all types of soldiers from conscripts to Special Forces. 

In the bids, the combat uniform tenderers described the uniform configurations that, in their mind, correspond to the functional requirements set by the NCU countries. 

Based on the bids the project has invited combat uniform tenderers to field tests organized from December 2019 to May 2020. The field tests will evaluate the functionality of the offered uniform configurations in different conditions and collect user feedback about the uniforms’ suitability for use. 

The field tests for the European area uniform configurations will be conducted in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark by the countries’ armed forces. The field tests for the jungle and desert uniforms will be conducted by the Danish Armed Forces including Special Forces in the first part of 2020. In Finland the clothing configurations will be subjected to separate tests used to assess their functionality in arctic conditions, among other things. 

After the field tests are concluded the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) will collect the feedback given by the Nordic user groups. The NCU project will analyze the feedback, and on this basis make a functional performance assessment on the combat uniform candidates. 

The assessment of the functional performance forms part of the evaluation of the technical performance of each offered combat uniform system. The overall evaluation includes both the technical performance and the offered prices.  This evaluation will form the basis for negotiations with the remaining tenderers and a request for best and final offers which will be finally evaluated resulting in the award of the NCU Framework Agreement.

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http://www.nordefco.org/Nordic-Combat-Uniform-project-enters-field-testing-phase
 

dapaterson

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What?  An olive drab combat uniform with black boots?


...now, where when have I seen that before...
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
What?  An olive drab combat uniform with black boots?


...now, where when have I seen that before...

Well, it did say that each country would put their own camouflage pattern on it...
 

dangerboy

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I like the whole system approach when it comes to clothing.
 

dapaterson

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Dimsum said:
Well, it did say that each country would put their own camouflage pattern on it...

This is the internet.  Why are you bothering me with things like "facts" and "reading the article" and "intelligent comments"?
 

daftandbarmy

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dangerboy said:
I like the whole system approach when it comes to clothing.

The Norwegian winter warfare ‘system’, as I recall, went something like ‘ski hard or freeze to death.’

They wee also big fans of natural fibres, and not keen on synthetic clothing like, ironically, Helly Hansen Lifa kit. It will be interesting to see if they stick with that philosophy.
 

Spencer100

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daftandbarmy said:
The Norwegian winter warfare ‘system’, as I recall, went something like ‘ski hard or freeze to death.’

They wee also big fans of natural fibres, and not keen on synthetic clothing like, ironically, Helly Hansen Lifa kit. It will be interesting to see if they stick with that philosophy.

Funny thing Helly Hansen is owned by Canadian Tire now

 

Loachman

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daftandbarmy said:
The Norwegian winter warfare ‘system’, as I recall, went something like ‘ski hard or freeze to death.’

They wee also big fans of natural fibres, and not keen on synthetic clothing like, ironically, Helly Hansen Lifa kit. It will be interesting to see if they stick with that philosophy.

I was surprised to see how little they went out with in the early 1980s - a tiny rucksack each, the equivalent of our old combat jacket over a woolen sweater that looked thicker than it was and a zippered cotton turtleneck, a thin rolled-up closed-cell sleeping pad, and strapon roughly-quarter-inch-thick cotton insulation covers for the tops of their unlined leather combat boots. There wasn't much room in their rucksacks for much of a sleeping bag, food, or anything really, and I never saw any toboggans.

And the food in their messes...

But conscripts don't need much comfort.
 

daftandbarmy

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Loachman said:
I was surprised to see how little they went out with in the early 1980s - a tiny rucksack each, the equivalent of our old combat jacket over a woolen sweater that looked thicker than it was and a zippered cotton turtleneck, a thin rolled-up closed-cell sleeping pad, and strapon roughly-quarter-inch-thick cotton insulation covers for the tops of their unlined leather combat boots. There wasn't much room in their rucksacks for much of a sleeping bag, food, or anything really, and I never saw any toboggans.

And the food in their messes...

But conscripts don't need much comfort.

I did the Allied Winter Course at their Infantry School in Elverum, in East Central Norway, where it gets really cold. Their philosophy is all about ‘traveling light and freezing at night.’

From being not a very good skier at the start of the course, 4 weeks later I completed a 30km biathlon carrying 30lbs and a G3 Rifle in under 4 hours, which is their equivalent of our BFT.

On exercises, we would cover enormous distances, towing toboggans as well, through the eastern mountain ranges at down to 45 below. As soon as you stopped, you burrowed into the snow, by section, and put a tent sheet over top so your collective body heat keeps you alive. For warm kit we had... a sweater and a warm hat.

It was a highly instructive, if miserable, way to learn how much you don’t need to carry during arctic warfare.
 

Loachman

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I had a helicopter when I was there.

And conscripts chopping wood into bite-sized morsels to feed the stoves in the Norgie tents at night.
 

daftandbarmy

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Loachman said:
I had a helicopter when I was there.

And conscripts chopping wood into bite-sized morsels to feed the stoves in the Norgie tents at night.

That's a great ad for any 'stay in school' initiative ;)
 

SeaKingTacco

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Loachman said:
I had a helicopter when I was there.

And conscripts chopping wood into bite-sized morsels to feed the stoves in the Norgie tents at night.

I was there in fall 92. I remember the rain and the mud. We burnt everything we could find in those stoves to keep the tents somewhat dry.

Beautiful country between Bardufoss and Skeboten...
 

daftandbarmy

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Ladies and gentleman, I give you the apogee of military load bearing equipment, the 'Ludwig Bergan', in cockney...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji-hIUIWNjU

It seems ridiculous until you realize they only carry about 30lbs, max, at any one time. The sleeping bag gets lashed on the outside top, boy scout like.

Bizarrely, they produced a modern version... which was exactly like the 1909 version (that I used alot) except it had some nylon parts in place of the leather and cotton. Even more bizarrely, I found one in a surplus store in Victoria a few years ago and bought it.

 

Rifleman62

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At Suffield, during a Medicine Man, circ 1984 (?), the Royal Green Jackets Pl Sgt carried the extra ammo for redistribution. A very heavy load. Up/down coolees in dismounted attacks during a very hot  July.
 

daftandbarmy

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Rifleman62 said:
At Suffield, during a Medicine Man, circ 1984 (?), the Royal Green Jackets Pl Sgt carried the extra ammo for redistribution. A very heavy load. Up/down coolees in dismounted attacks during a very hot  July.

My take away was that the Norgies had a very good logistics system that meant their Infantry were not overburdened. For example, no one has to do laundry at their Infantry school, they just hand in their dirty clothes/ sheets etc at stores and get issued clean ones. We were stunned.

Nice duvets by the way...
 
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