ARCHIVED - Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT TM) Uniform

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Backgrounder / February 4, 2002 / Project number: CLS BG-02.001

The new Canadian Disruptive Pattern ( CADPATTM) uniform is rapidly becoming part of the Canadian Army's identity and puts Canadian soldiers well ahead of most allies in camouflage survivability. The CADPATTM uniform (pants and shirt) will be issued based on operational need in two distinct variations: Temperate Woodland (TW) and Arid Regions (AR). CADPATTM is a computer generated pattern incorporating sophisticated Near Infrared protection designed to conceal soldiers from image intensification devices (night vision). CADPATTM (TW) is comprised of four specific colours of light green, dark green, brown and black and was first introduced in 1997/98 on the helmet cover for the new helmet then coming into service. At the same time, the pattern was also introduced on a new Soldier's Individual Camouflage Net.

Concurrent with the trials of CADPATTM (TW), work was carried out to identify a uniform for operations in desert, near desert, and savannah environmental conditions. This three-colour pattern, known as CADPATTM Arid Regions (AR), incorporates three different colours of brown. The CADPATTM design for Arid Regions has been approved and the transfer of this digital technology is ongoing to the textiles industry. Canadian industry will follow the general process that was undertaken with the Temperate Woodland pattern to select the appropriate inks and commence test production runs. Once DND has accepted the results then contracts will be put in place for garments for field soldiers.

Before being approved, all items undergo extensive field testing by soldiers. Specifically, these trials confirmed that the technologies involved had been effectively moved from the research and development laboratory to industry for mass production. It is important to note, however, that although extensive trials were conducted to determine the appropriate design and colour of CADPATTM, soldiers do not rely on CADPAT alone for their protection. All soldiers learn to use every means available to camouflage and conceal themselves in different environments.


  • CADPATTM (TW) has been issued to approximately 1/3 of Army soldiers as of Jan 02

  • Regular and Reserve Army units are expected to be fully converted to CADPATTM (TW) by the end of 2002. A separate program has begun to convert the Army combat clothing outwear (Gortex TM jackets and pants), which will see first issues occurring in late 2002 / early 2003.

  • The CADPATTM (TW) uniform was first worn in an operational theatre in September 2001 in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Operation Palladium Rotation 09 and all subsequent rotations to this theatre of operations will wear CADPATTM (TW).

  • In light of the deployment of the Immediate Reaction Force (Land) (IRF (L)) to Afghanistan, the CADPATTM (AR) project was expedited with the intent that it will be issued to soldiers in summer 2002.

The patterns and technical data are patent and copyright protected. Also note that the Department of National Defence has acquired the trademark for CADPATTM. A number of Canadian companies have been successful in meeting the rigorous technical specifications for CADPATTM on specific textiles using both Canadian and overseas printing capabilities. The Department of National Defence closely controls CADPAT with all companies agreeing to non-disclosure stipulations for third parties and close control of swatches.

The Army transition to the next generation of soldier operational clothing and equipment has been focussed on the "Clothe the Soldier Project." The Project, in existence since 1995 and in delivery of various items since 1997, will provide state-of-the-art headwear, handwear, underwear, footwear, and cold weather clothing. It will also provide new Personal Ballistic Protection items and a Load Carriage System. All of this clothing and equipment is designed to work as an overall compatible system to better protect our soldiers. Designed with leading-edge technology, the clothing will greatly enhance operational effectiveness and protect soldiers in all weather conditions.

For more information on The Clothe the Soldier Project visit our website at

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