Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT; French: dessin de camouflage canadien, DcamC) is the computer-generated digital camouflage pattern currently used by the Canadian Forces (CF). CADPAT is designed to reduce the likelihood of detection by night vision devices.
Canada's desire for a new soldier system dates back to November 1988 and closely follows 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 Clothe the Soldier Project (CTS).
In development for the better part of a decade, the pattern comes in three varieties: temperate woodland (TW), arid region (AR), and winter/arctic (WA). The temperate woodland pattern became the standard issue for the Army in 2002, with the Air Force following suit in 2004. Uniforms and equipment in CADPAT material replaced the olive green material in use since the early 1960s.
CADPAT TW has four specific colours—light green, dark green, brown, and black—and 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 CADPAT TW uniform allows Canadian soldiers protection from observation by the naked eye and night vision devices.
Concurrent with the trials of CADPAT 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 CADPAT arid regions (AR), incorporates three different colours of brown. The CADPAT design for arid regions has been approved, and the transfer of this digital technology is ongoing to the textiles industry. CADPAT AR also features two additional arm pockets and Velcro on the arms compared to the TW uniform. In light of the deployment of the Immediate Reaction Force to Afghanistan, the CADPAT AR project was expedited with the intent that it would be issued to soldiers in summer 2002.
The winter/arctic pattern was introduced as an upgrade to the current monochrome winter whites to further enhance the Canadian soldier's camouflage capability by day and night. It includes near infra-red (NIR) technology.
Defence Research and Development Canada based at CFB Suffield (DRDC-S) has 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. This new pattern is known as the Canadian urban environment pattern (CUEPAT).
Camouflage patterns similar but not identical to CADPAT are commercially available. Like other elements of Canadian military uniforms, ownership and wearing of CADPAT is subject to section 419 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits the unlawful use of military uniforms, as well as military regulations to similar effect.
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