Indian Army’s uniform over the years as its new one debuts on January 15

What is the News?

The Indian Army is all set to get a new combat uniform featuring digital disruptive patterns.

About the New Combat Uniform

The New Combat Uniform has been designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in close coordination with the Army.

Purpose: The uniform has been designed to serve two requirements: a) protection against harsh climatic conditions, including extreme heat and cold b) To provide soldiers’ outfits with field camouflage, so as to increase battlefield survivability.

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What is the uniform evolution of the Indian Army?

The tradition of military field uniforms was brought to India through the British East India Company, which carved up the country into three separate Presidencies – the Bengal Presidency, Bombay Presidency and Madras Presidency.

The British East India Company instituted separate dress uniforms and combat uniforms for each of the three presidencies.

The sepoy served the British were put into uniforms that were partly red. However, their uniforms were also embroidered with coloured trimmings of red (Bengal Presidency), grey (Bombay Presidency) and yellow (Madras Presidency).

After 1857, armies of the three Presidencies devolved to the British Crown and were eventually allotted formal uniforms

In 1947, with the division of the Indian Army into Indian and Pakistani armies, Indian Army’s uniforms retained olive green as the basic colour, while the basic colour of the Pakistan Army uniform was changed to khaki.

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After the 1962 war, Indian soldiers cotton uniforms and cotton fibre jerseys were replaced by clothing that was better equipped for high Himalayan altitudes

In 1980, the Indian Army replaced the old cotton olive green combat dress with a “disruptive pattern” battle dress that provided an inbuilt element of camouflage to the soldier.

After the Siachen Glacier face-off in 1984, Indian units in the glacier were introduced to Austrian alpine clothing and climbing equipment.

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Source: This post is based on the article ‘Indian Army’s uniform over the years as its new one debuts on January 15 published in Business Standard on 6th Jan 2022.

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