Denmark adopting MultiCam

The decision by the Danish MoD to abandon their iconic “Pletsløring” camouflage pattern in favor of MultiCam created a bit of shock wave when we first heard the news back in November.  But it is true – and we now also have a bit more detail behind the story…

The days will soon be over where you see Danish soldiers wearing combat uniforms in different colors for different terrain.  The M/84 woodland camouflage uniform and the M/01 desert camouflage uniform will be replaced by a light-weight and heavy-weight M/11 combat uniform in MultiCam.

The Danish M/84 pattern was designed specifically for verdant northern European environments.

The Danish M/01 desert combat uniform seems to blend in well in Afghanistan's arid terrain - but the use of woodland colored M/84 pattern web gear illustrates one of the logistical problems of separate, distinctive, terrain-specific camouflage patterns.

The change is being made mainly due to experience in Afghanistan where Danish soldiers have been operating in several types of terrain.  According to the Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO), the new uniform will be intended to be suitable for operations in many other environments besides Afghanistan though – it will be the new standard issue camouflaged combat uniform for all Danish troops everywhere.

The decision to switch from a distinctively DANISH pattern to a foreign one which is widely available and used (both commercially and by national forces) has of course generated some controversy about a loss of national identity.  However, when we put this issue to the DALO, their response was that they were not at all concerned about a loss of identity.  In fact, they believe; “This pattern will probably enhance the force protection since any adversary will not be able to differ between the different countries within an area of operation.”

Major Thomas Nico Jørgensen of the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization presents a MultiCam uniform in comparison with the current M/01 and M/84 combat uniforms. Photo copyright 2011 Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization. NOTE: The MultiCam uniform featured above is an American ACU - reinforcing the assumption that the new uniform will be of a different style / cut than the current M/84 and M/01.

 

Camouflage in different terrain

The choice of the multi-terrain MultiCam pattern is to provide an acceptable (“80%”) level of camouflage no matter if the soldier operates in desert, rocky or mountainous terrain, heavily vegetated areas, or in build-up areas.

“The Americans, the British and the Australians have decided to switch to the MultiCam system, and the Danish Armed Forces will do the same”, said Major Thomas Nico Jørgensen, commander of the Equipment Section of the Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO).

However, when we contacted the Danish DALO for further information and clarity about the decision to switch to MultiCam, they did acknowledge that MultiCam is not as good as the current Danish M/84 pattern in verdant terrain.  So, I guess the Danes are not expecting to have to fight on their home-turf (or anywhere else in northern Europe) any time in the foreseeable future…

MultiCam in a verdant northern European woodland environment...

 

Timeframe for introduction

The current manufacturer of the M/84 and M/01 uniforms has to change the colors of webbing, buttons, thread, Velcro, etc. – so it will take at least 12 months to deliver the new uniforms.  Also, we assume that the M/11 combat uniform will feature a modified or different style than the current types – but we don’t have any further details at this time.

Therefore, the M/11 uniform will probably be first available for ISAF 15 and 16 in 2013.  After that, the Danish Armed Forces will replace the current uniforms over time after first using up the existing stocks.

How a multi-terrain version of M/84 might have looked...

 

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* Strike-Hold! would like to recognize and thank the assistance of Henrik Clausen, world-renowned camouflage collector, and Major Susanne Bjørcklund of the Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization for their assistance with additional information and materials in the creation of this article.

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4 Responses to Denmark adopting MultiCam

  1. Pingback: Denmark goes MultiCam | Strike – Hold!

  2. Nick says:

    I do think the current Dane pattern is for sure better than Multicam in the mentioned AO (Northern Europe). But you need to also look at the placing of said photos. Multicam is going to look amazingly too lite in coloration silhouetted on the extremely green tree line but once you are in the treeline and nearer to the floor of the forest it is a very decent camouflage. But regardless it is not meant to be amazing at one environment jut good enough in most..hence the multi-terrain designation of the pattern. I am gonna miss M-84 though it looked nice and was good in lush greenery. Like the writer siad the Danes are assuming they are going to be in a semi-arid / arid environment for the near future.

  3. Paralus says:

    That’s pretty shortsighted. While adding to the choices of uniforms when deploying is good, it’s pretty dumb to assume you won’t be operating in a verdant climate.

    I guess the upshot is we’ll see more Danish camo being sold as surplus.

  4. LCon says:

    More and more I am wondering if Nato might not as a whole make multicam the official pattern for the alliance.