A big leap towards a common combat uniform system in the Nordic nations

The requirements of the new Nordic uniform system have been submitted to the qualified vendors. In mid-September the quotations, including a full sample uniform system, shall be delivered.

The four Nordic countries have different experience and traditions in terms of defense materiel, but now shared requirements on a new uniform system is in place. A big effort has resulted in shared functional requirements, where only camouflage pattern differ.

 - We have a prosperous cooperation where we take advantage of our different experience. There is a fantastic drive to improve. All personnel involved are highly committed to the task and want to succeed, says Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU) project manager Thrude J. Leirvik.

The work is based on user requirements from the involved nations. User groups have elaborated a requirement document that both users and technicians support. The work has not always been straight forward – for example regarding climatic zones where the countries have different requirements on what the uniform system shall endure. This has been solved by using a uniform system with different configurations that work in different climatic zones; European, cold climate, jungle and desert.

-The project has not specified in detail how the system is supposed to look. It is our requirements on the uniform and how it must function that is specified. The vendors have to find solutions that fulfill these functional requirements. We have a number of strong candidates that passed the pre-qualification and that we believe can submit a good system design, says Swedish project manager Mia Nilsson.

The vendors will be given access to the materiel interacting with the uniform system, such as body armour, backpacks etc., in order to resolve how they shall function together. Boots are not part of this procurement as is the case for equipment for head and hands.

The vendors will submit a sample uniform system during fall 2018, when a first evaluation will be performed. Afterwards, a small number of vendors will proceed to the extensive user testing program. This program will be performed in all four countries for a longer period, covering multiple seasons and different environment. Lab testing will also be part of the testing program.

- The uniform system is intended to be a significant improvement for the soldiers and must fit all, both men and women in all four nations. With the quantities involved, we will be able to achieve high quality at a favorable price.

–The NCU project looks forward to entering the new phase with the prequalified applicants with negotiations, test program and ending with a winning vendor and signed contracts, says Thrude J. Leirvik. 

Project team picture: Mia Nilsson (Sweden), Gaute Espeland (Norway), Thrude J. Leirvik (Norway), Carsten Cederbye (Denmark) and Jaana Pihlaja (Finland).