DLO Press Release

Frontline Troops to get Improved Desert Gear

18 August 2005

British soldiers, sailors and airmen and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are soon to be equipped with a new selection of improved desert clothing items.

Items that will be introduced into service in the near future include new desert combat assault boots, hydration systems, protective eyewear, desert load-carriage vests, anti-microbial underwear, sweat-wicking vests and improved combat helmets. [Link to detailed list]

Taking advantage of the latest developments in clothing and fabric technology, the new range will ensure British troops are provided with kit that offers better levels of protection combined with comfort and freedom of movement.  Worn together, these items will ensure today¡¦s Servicemen and women are fully equipped to counter challenges on the modern battlefield.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said:

'Since the first Gulf War in 1990, tremendous improvements have been made to the quality and utility of the clothing issued to all British soldiers, sailors and air-force personnel.  Today, our Armed Forces are among the best equipped in the world, ready to face environments ranging from desert conditions in Iraq, monsoon conditions in Brunei, to winter in the Balkans.

'Support for the modern Serviceman or woman starts from the skin out.  Our aim is to treat the uniform and equipment carried as a complete system, where everything is designed to work alongside each other.¨

Today (18 August 2005), the new desert items were on display at Wellington Barracks, London.  Military and technical experts were on hand to explain the benefits of the new designs, together with soldiers from the 23 Pioneer Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, who have recently used the kit in theatre.  Ministry of Defence experts also gave the first live demonstration of the new desert combat assault boot - publicly 'roasting' the sole of the new boot that has been specifically designed to withstand temperatures up to 300„aC. 

Many of the items on display, such as the desert combat uniform, demonstrate the benefits of new light-weight, quick drying fabrics aimed at providing day-to-day comfort for Armed Forces personnel.  Modern materials, such as the Kevlar-nylon mix used in the new helmet, give better levels of protection, but without a penalty in weight.  New modern fabrics being developed are also expected to allow Defence scientists to make further improvements in the future.

Notes to Editors

1. The new Desert Combat Assault Boot uppers are made of Nubuck leather with a nylon fabric leg and soles of nitrile rubber which provide a hard-wearing outer and polyurethane shock-absorbing inner.  A pair of Size 9 boots weighs 1400g.  The size range of the boots is 2 to 15 in 3 different widths (Small, Medium and Large).

2. A full list of new clothing items, giving technical details of the kit, is available via this link.

3. For further information please contact the DLO Press Office on 01225 468819   or 01225 467180


Last Updated: 18 Aug 05