Republic of Korea Military to Introduce Digitally-designed Battle Uniform

A new battle uniform with digitally-designed patterns of camouflage is expected to be introduced in 2010 for all military servicemembers. Also, new battle boots that are lighter in weight and have significantly improved design and functions will be introduced in 2009 for our troops.

The Ministry of National Defense said Dec. 8 that it is now developing a new battle uniform with digital (dotted) patterns for introduction from 2010. The announcement was made at an exhibition of military uniforms and equipment held at the defense ministry by the ministry¡¯s munitions management division.

The new uniform that will be distributed to all servicemembers of the Army, Navy and Air Force, with the only exception of the special forces command, will have improved anti-bacteria and moisture-proofing functions while its shirt will be worn over the pants,¡± a ministry official said. A survey was commissioned in November to evaluate the effectiveness of the new camouflage patterns and materials used in the uniform while a unit will be selected next year to test the new uniforms, according to the ministry official.

The ministry will also start supplying a new helmet with significantly improved protection against bullets, designs and functions from next year. The new headgear has seven memory foam pads attached on the sides of its interior while the number of buttons on the chin strap will be increased to four from the current two, which will make it easier to put on and take off the headgear.

The Defense Ministry also plans to improve its bullet-proof vests and cold gears by 2010. The ministry will improve the insulating capabilities of cold gears, which currently are only similar to gore-tex gears, by using new water-proof, moisture-permitting materials while also reducing their weight through improved designs. The gears will be developed and fielded by 2010.

The new bullet-proof vest, currently under development, will be developed by 2010 to have enough protection against small arms, while it will be designed to also provide protection for abdomen, neck and shoulders. A feasibility study was conducted from April to November. The new vest will be put to use in 2010 following a field test next year.

Also, new battle boots will be distributed to military members starting from 2009. The Defense Ministry not only employed materials that have significantly superior water-proof and moisture-permitting functions for the new boots, but it also decided to apply new gluing and stitching technologies that will each make the boots 121 grams and 85 grams lighter than the existing ones. The ministry said it also plans to introduce its new personal backpacks and tents that were developed this year following a test use that will last until 2010.

The new personal tent is multi-purpose and weatherproof that can be used as a tent, the outer cover for a sleeping bag, rain gear, a stretcher and a buoy.

Also drawing attention at the exhibition were new underwear and socks that have significantly improved qualities, such as new designs and colors, as well as improved sweat absorbing power. New military shovels with improved strength and functions were among the items displayed at the exhibition, that also included new mess kits, combat vests, sleeping bags and personal waistbands.

Meanwhile, the exhibition provided an opportunity for the Defense Ministry to compare its new equipment and gears with those of other advanced nations and to find ways to further improve their gears


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