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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Nordic Combat Uniform News

In a few years no longer standard issue: the Swedish uniform system 90.

The contract for a common uniform system for the Nordic states will be signed next year. Also, Sweden´s current standard camouflage pattern might be replaced. All according to the new issue of the official journal of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Nordic defence cooperation has been going on longer than many realize and seems to rarely spark major interest here in Sweden. However, this may be about to change due to the coming common uniform system of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The latest issue of the Swedish defence journal Försvarets Forum contains some interesting news about the coming Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU). First of all the article (on p. 5) makes clear that the NCU prototypes will be tested at six Swedish regiments, and the tests there will start later this year. Next year the contract will be signed and the first regular uniforms are to be delivered to Swedish units in 2023 - for some unknown reason it seems the Danes will get them before the Swedes.

The article states that the new uniforms will both be "lighter and more durable". The camouflage pattern used on the outerwear garments may differ from country to country. But, the article also states that "For Sweden, it might be time to change camouflage pattern". This is confirmed in this more illustrated article, also from an official website. The current standard Swedish camouflage pattern for outerwear is called M90 and yours truly witnessed some of the M90 tests during my basic military training in 1988-89. Agreed, that is a pretty long time ago. But personally speaking I reckon the M90 is rather perfect in Swedish forests. Well, I guess I should not exclude that they will come up with something even better.

Being a history freak I would say that NCU will not be the first Nordic uniform, as due to the Soviet Winter War against Finland in 1939-40, the Swedish Volunteer Corps (SFK) issued one uniform system to both Swedish and Norwegian volunteers for Finland. This system was essentially the Swedish m/39. The main difference was the buttons, that were not Swedish Army issue.