SoldierMod.Com :: Soldier Modernisation SoldierMod TV :: Visit our new video channel
 
SoldierMod Volume 19 | May 2017 LinkedIn | click for more
Latest Issue Articles

Country flagNorway Plans Equipment Overhaul

PDF icon Download article as PDF
   
The new Nordic Combat Uniform will replace the current uniforms used by four nations, including Norway. Above, personnel of Norway’s Armoured Engineer Company - C during an exercise in Rena in September 2015. (© Norwegian Defence Media Centre)
The new Nordic Combat Uniform will replace the current uniforms used by four nations, including Norway. Above, personnel of Norway’s Armoured Engineer Company - C during an exercise in Rena in September 2015. (© Norwegian Defence Media Centre)

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) is pushing ahead with a range of new modernisation projects, with the aim of providing its soldiers with new helmets, body armour and uniforms within the next five years.

Asgeir Spange Brekke, a senior communications advisor for the NDMA, highlighted several planned projects that are currently in the early stages of development. This includes a planned joint uniform acquisition with Denmark, Finland and Sweden, called the Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU), which will cover everything from underwear to the uniform itself.

Norway is the lead nation in this project, which will aim to begin deliveries in late 2021, Spange Brekke said.

“One of the advantages in cooperation like this is the possibility to draw on expertise and experiences from a great range of environments and a variety of operations,” he told Soldier Modernisation.

A request for information (RfI) on the new uniform was published in late March 2016. It emphasised the breadth of the project, saying the NCU is “meant as an all-service (army, navy, air force, home guard and special forces) combat uniform system for male and female soldiers. It is an inner to outer combat uniform system (from top to toe), which is functional in worldwide operations”, though it noted that this does not include ballistic protection and specialist combat uniform systems.

The procurement has a number of goals, the RfI said, including improved combat endurance, improved protection from environmental and other indirect threats, and improved modularity and flexibility. In addition, it should provide reduced overall volume and weight.

According to NORDEFCO, the idea for the joint uniform gained momentum in early 2016, when a project team was established featuring representatives for procuring authorities in each of the four countries. An NCU technical agreement was signed during the Nordic Defence Seminar in Helsinki in May 2016, while a meeting was held with interested companies last June.

The new uniform would not mean the personnel of the four countries would appear identical, NORDEFCO has pointed out. The four nations would likely retain their current camouflage patterns, for example. However, Major Ivar B. Selvig from Norway said that the joint acquisition makes sense, as the four countries operate in broadly similar climactic conditions, with some exceptions: for example, Denmark has less of a need for Arctic clothing than the other nations, while some of the countries have particular requirements for the use of the uniforms in jungle conditions.

“Buying uniforms together provides us with several benefits,” said Brigadier General Peter Kølby Pedersen of the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation. “If we do it well, we can get better quality for the same price. Or even better quality at a cheaper price.”

Additionally, he said that larger players on the uniform market may be attracted to the deal, which would increase the array of possible solutions, something that in turn could boost the operational effect.

Spange Brekke pointed to a number of other projects that are on Norway’s radar. For example, the NDMA is also planning to acquire new helmets and body armour for the Norwegian Defence Forces, he told Soldier Modernisation. The NDMA is currently “preparing the necessary decision documentation on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence”, he said. “The plan is to issue the new equipment sometime between 2020 and 2022.”

Upcoming Events
 
Contributors
 
SoldierMod eBook
Click here for SoldierMod FREE eBook
 
Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict
Other publications by Intercomms:
www.intercomms.net
www.emergencycomms.org