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 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.”
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…
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.
* 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.