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Canadian Disruptive Pattern
CADPAT temperate woodland pattern
TypeMilitary camouflage pattern
Place of originCanada
Service history
In service1997–present
Used byCanadian Armed Forces
WarsOperation Enduring Freedom (2001–14)
Production history
  • CADPAT Temperate Woodland (TW)
  • CADPAT Arid Regions (AR)
  • CADPAT Winter Operations (WO)
  • CADPAT Multi-Terrain (MT)[1]

Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT; French: dessin de camouflage canadien, DcamC) is the computer-generated digital camouflage pattern developed for use by the Canadian Armed Forces. Four operational variations of CADPAT have been used by the Canadian Armed Forces: a temperate woodland pattern, an arid regions pattern, a winter operations pattern, and a multi-terrain pattern.

CADPAT was the first digital camouflage pattern to be used operationally, having been issued in 1997 with the Canadian Armed Forces. The pattern became fully standardized within the Canadian Armed Forces by 2002, having completely replaced the olive-drab operational uniforms formerly used by Regular Force units. The multi-terrain CADPAT variant began development in 2019, and is planned to replace the temperate woodland and arid regions CADPAT variations.


Canada's desire for a new soldier system dated back to November 1988 and closely followed efforts in many NATO countries. The first research effort, called Integrated Protective Clothing and Equipment (IPCE) Technology Demonstration, was initiated in 1995 but then was cancelled, due to high systems cost and failure to meet the majority of the requirements. Ongoing operations in the mid-1990s led to the creation of the Clothe the Soldier (CTS) Project, which directly addressed the NATO soldier system capability areas of survivability and sustainability. The Canadian Disruptive Pattern was a part of ongoing research and implemented during the CTS Project.[2]

Once CADPAT temperate woodland was finalized, field tests began in 1995. After satisfactory results, CADPAT was adopted by the Canadian Army in 1997; however, testing was not concluded until 2001 once the pattern was trademarked.[3]

Soldiers from the Canadian Grenadier Guards wearing CADPAT AR in Afghanistan, 2009

The first operational use of the temperate woodland pattern was reported in September 2001 with Canadian soldiers serving in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Palladium Rotation 09.[4] The first operational use of the CADPAT arid regions variant overseas was reported during the War in Afghanistan, when Taliban prisoners of war were seen escorted by armed Canadian commandos in the camo. This nearly made things complicated for the Department of National Defence (DND), since it had said that no Canadian commandos were officially in Afghanistan.[4]

In 2019, tests were conducted for plans to eventually replace the temperate and arid regions patterns.[5][6][7] The 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment (3RCR) in Garrison Petawawa were issued the pattern for field tests.[8]

Under the Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization (SOCEM) project, DND sought feedback and advice from users for the trial camouflage known as Prototype J before it made its decision.[9][10] In 2021, the new multi-terrain CADPAT was selected as the replacement.[11] In 2021, the first orders for the MT pattern were made, with 390,000 metres of cloth, followed by 560,000 metres of cloth.[12]

The new camouflage pattern is expected to be adopted by 2027.[9]

Pattern variations[edit]

The Canadian Armed Forces has developed four operational variations of CADPAT: temperate woodland (TW), arid regions (AR), winter operations (WO), and multi-terrain (MT).[5]

The temperate woodland pattern became the standard issue for Land Force Command in 2002, with the Air Command following suit in 2004. In 2021, the Canadian Armed Forces selected a new CADPAT variant, multi-terrain pattern, to replace the TW and AR patterns, with both being phased out over the coming years, and the MT-patterned uniform becoming the "daily wear" uniform.[13]

Temperate woodland[edit]

Members of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in CADPAT TW operational dress

The temperate woodland pattern (TW) is designed for use in forest and grassland environments, with its mix of light green, dark green, brown, and black.[5] The pattern was first introduced in 1996 on the helmet cover for the new CG634 helmet then coming into service. At the same time, the pattern was also introduced on a new soldier's individual camouflage net. The TW pattern provides protection from observation by the naked eye and night vision devices, with the pattern incorporating near-infrared technology at the ink level to help conceal the wearer against near-infrared optical devices.

The pattern is optimized for a gate rate of 30 to 350 metres against a 3-power optical sight.[14]

Arid regions[edit]

Close up of the CADPAT AR pattern
Canadian soldiers in CADPAT AR operational dress

The arid regions pattern (AR) is designed for use in desert, near desert, and savannah conditions, incorporating three shades of brown.[5] The AR pattern also features two additional arm pockets and Velcro on the arms compared to the older TW uniform.[4] The AR pattern was developed concurrently with the trials of TW pattern.

After Canadian Forces were deployed to Afghanistan, the AR pattern was expedited with the intent that it would be issued to soldiers in summer 2002.[4] The AR pattern also incorporates infrared technology for night operation.[14]


Beginning in 2019, as part of the Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization (SOCEM) programme, a 'transitional' pattern began to be tested by the Canadian Armed Forces. The pattern was accepted after some mild alterations to its coloration. The pattern is medium-brown dominant, accented by black, dark green, and light tan; overall it is less vibrant than the TW pattern, but darker than the AR pattern.

In 2021, the new CADPAT pattern, called "multi-terrain pattern" or simply “MT,” was announced as the replacement the TW and AR patterns.[15]

The MT pattern is designed to blend into the widest possible range of environments, and is planned to serve as the day-to-day working uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces.[13][15] In 2024, the Canadian Forces announced that issuance of MT-patterned uniforms would begin in February 2024 for high-readiness units first;[16] They also claimed that the transition to the new pattern would be complete by 2026.[17]

Winter operations[edit]

Members of the Royal 22nd Regiment in CADPAT WO pants

The winter operations (WO) pattern was created for snow-covered or mixed woodland and snowy terrain.[5] The snow camouflage pattern was introduced as an upgrade to the monochrome winter whites to further enhance the Canadian soldier's camouflage capability by day and night. It also includes near-infrared technology.[14]

Proposed variations[edit]

In 2011, Defence Research and Development Canada, based at CFB Suffield, set forth a requirement to develop a new urban pattern for the Canadian Forces based on the three major metropolitan areas of Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. The prototype pattern is known as the Canadian urban environment pattern (CUEPAT). While at least one company – HyperStealth Biotechnology Corporation – responded to the requirement,[18] as of 2024 there have been no further announcements regarding CUEPAT.

In 2016, the Canadian Forces considered replacing the red-coloured uniforms worn by the Canadian Rangers with a new red-coloured CADPAT-derived design.[19]

During the trials that eventually led to the Multi-Terrain pattern, a number of patterns emerged as contenders, most prominent of which was known as the 'Prototype J' pattern. It underwent testing in 2019 and the pattern was slightly more green-dominant than the ultimately adopted MT pattern.[10]

Similar designs[edit]

A Canadian airman in CADPAT TW (left); a U.S. marine dressed in MARPAT

CADPAT was the first digital camouflage pattern to be issued operationally.[20] Many debates speculate the pattern was the direct inspiration for the United States Marine Corps' pursuit and adoption of their own camouflage pattern MARPAT when replacing their Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform in late 2001 to early 2002.[citation needed]

The MARPAT pattern issued in 2001 used the same print screens as the CADPAT TW pattern and the trial pattern for the CADPAT AR pattern.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Requesting the Commercial Use of the Canadian Disruptive Pattern". Government of Canada. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Canada turns need into reality". Soldier Mod.com. Intercom Publications. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  3. ^ "Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT TM) Uniform". Department of National Defence. Government of Canada. 4 February 2002. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "CADPAT TW Camo ~ Royal 22e Régiment". Joint-forces.com. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Fouchard, Steven (13 March 2020). "CADPAT: A uniquely Canadian development". Government of Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  6. ^ Pugliese, David (5 September 2019). "Canadian military tests new camouflage uniform as replacement for iconic pattern in use since early 2000s". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  7. ^ "New CADPAT design being tested". The Lookout. Pacific Navy News. 20 September 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  8. ^ Knapp, Steve (December 2021). "New camouflage enhances Canadian Armed Forces combat capabilities" (PDF). LEMS Journal (8). Canadian Armed Forces: 3–4.
  9. ^ a b "Canadian Army - Uniform, Camouflage and Equipment Modernization Process Marches On". Soldier Systems Daily. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  10. ^ a b Thatcher, Chris (19 October 2019). "The trials of Prototype J". Canadian Army Today.
  11. ^ "Canada Adopts CADPAT-MT Camouflage". Soldier Systems Daily. 2 April 2021.
  12. ^ Pugliese, David (8 April 2021). "Canadian military to improve uniforms as new camouflage pattern selected". Ottawa Citizen.
  13. ^ a b Thorne, Stephen J. (26 April 2021). "Military selects new uniform camo". Legion magazine. Canvet Publication.
  14. ^ a b c "Military Fabric Solutions". Consoltex. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Montgomery, Marc (3 May 2021). "Canada selects new combat uniform design for soldiers". Radio Canada International.
  16. ^ "CADPAT MT Modernized Combat Uniform". Joint-Forces.com. March 31, 2024.
  17. ^ "CADPAT Multi-Terrain (MT) Modernized Combat Uniform". Government of Canada. February 26, 2024.
  18. ^ "CUEPAT (Canadian Urban Environment Pattern) Trial Uniforms". Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corporation. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  19. ^ Morin, Philippe (4 December 2016). "Ready in red: Canadian Rangers get uniform upgrade". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  20. ^ King, Anthony (2014). "The digital revolution: Camouflage in the twenty-first century". Millennium: Journal of International Studies. 42 (2): 397–424. doi:10.1177/0305829813512885. hdl:10871/17154. S2CID 143973827.
  21. ^ "Canadian Forces considering changing regular forces camouflage from CADPAT Temperate Woodland and CADPAT Arid Regions to Multicam" (PDF). Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corporation. 28 August 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • CA patent 2442558, Jensen, Gert Hvedstrup; Clausen, Svend & Winther, Kaj Torben, "Camouflage material for the temperate environment", published 2003-02-13 

External links[edit]