The Finnish Defence Forces are set to use a so-called Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU) from 2020, in a move to give Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish troops the same outfits. The collaboration is expected to produce cost savings compared to a procurement process led by just one country’s military.
It’s been nearly a decade since Finland introduced new military uniforms in 2007, and new ones are now being planned. They will be a collaborative effort of the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish armed forces aimed at producing a so-called Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU).
The new uniforms are to be as simple and light as possible, designed purely for battlefield criteria—a change from the current models which were created to be used on base, on holiday, on parade as well as during operations.
“It doesn’t matter how stylish, presentable or good-looking it is,” said Lieutenant Commander Jarkko Miettinen of the armed forces’ procurement unit. “The old uniform will still be used in Finland for holiday and parade use.”
The joint uniforms are set to be much cheaper to plan and purchase with four countries sharing the costs, with interested firms meeting officials from all four countries next week in Denmark.
“We’re not telling commercial operators how the uniform should be,” said Miettinen. “We tell them how it should work in which conditions. There are 20 pages of those criteria.”
Those criteria are quite demanding. The new outfits should be suitable for all seasons and geographical settings, from Finnish Lapland to peacekeeping operations in warmer climates, with the possibility of two versions to ensure soldiers have the right clothes in all weathers.
The new uniform should be in use by 2020, with final decisions on the providers taken by the end of this year.