The Israel Defense Forces’ ground units will begin receiving new and improved uniforms, specially designed to protect their knees, wick away sweat and offer some protection against fire, the army announced on Thursday morning.
The Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry said in a joint statement that an Israeli clothing company, Unidress, had been selected to supply 10,000 sets of the new uniforms, following a tender. The deal, worth NIS 50 million ($14 million), includes tailoring services for each individual soldier, laundry, and distribution services for a period of two years.
The uniforms had already been provided to a select number of elite units as part of a trial in 2018.
The commander of the IDF’s Ground Forces, Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai, decided on expanding the distribution to all of the units under his purview, following “a successful initial trial and after the uniforms have been proven in operational activity as life savers,” the military said.
The IDF said these new uniforms were specially designed for the types of conditions that soldiers are likely to encounter. The uniforms will help make soldiers more effective in combat as well as help to protect them.
Generally speaking, IDF ground units have two sets of uniforms — dress and work. The dress uniforms, made of an olive-green polyester fabric, are worn during ceremonies or when soldiers leave their bases and travel home.
These new uniforms will replace the current olive-green work uniforms, which are made of a combination of natural and man-made fibers.
According to the IDF, the new muted green shirt and pants will be made of a tough, flame-retardant fabric, which draws moisture away from the skin to keep the soldier dry.
It also comes with a protective layer in the knees for added protection when soldiers are crouching or kneeling during combat or training.
The bottoms of the pant legs also have built-in elastic bands to replace the rubber bands most soldiers use to keep their pants above their boots, as required by army regulations.
“The decision to equip the soldiers with the new combat uniforms is a professional decision that combines comfort, fire resistance, and personal and high-quality service,” Yadai said. “But above all, it is a decision through which we wish to express our great appreciation to those who carry Israel’s security on their shoulders.”
It was not immediately clear how long it would take for the distribution to be completed.