CAnadian Disruptive PATtern (CADPAT) is the digital camouflage pattern currently used by the Canadian Forces (CF). It was the first digital pattern introduced for uniforms and has similarities to German Army Flecktarn which may have inspired the development of CADPAT. The patent for CADPAT lists US Army research done by LTC Timothy R. O’Neill (U.S. Army, Retired) in the 1970s as an early inspiration for their digital pattern. CADPAT went considerably beyond this initial research. CADPAT is a computer generated pattern incorporating sophisticated Near Infrared protection designed to conceal soldiers from image intensification devices (night vision).
The basic uniform consists of a wide brim combat hat, helmet cover, shirt, jacket, fragmentation vest, and trousers. The pattern was copyrighted upon its introduction.
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.
Some civilian firms are licensed to sell clothing and accessories using CADPAT material (though not the same IR-defeating type used by the CF) as long as the patterns do not match official CF uniform and equipment patterns. These are commercially available from a wide variety of sources.
CADPAT TW has four specific colours — 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. 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 than 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.
Introduced as an upgrade to the current monochrome winter whites to further enhance the Canadian soldier's camouflage capability by day and night. Includes Near Infra-red (NIR) technology.
The Defence Research and Development Canada based at CFB Suffield(DRDC-S) has a requirement to develop a new uniform for the Canadian Forces based on three major metropolitan area including Toronto and Montreal. The new uniform know as the Canadian Urban Environment Pattern (CUEPAT). The CUEPAT will integrated a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection.
The Canadian Forces were working on a new combat boot made with the CADPAT pattern. There was some negative feedback from Canadian soldiers, and due to this, the Canadian Forces is reviewing the requirement for the CADPAT print boots, and the newest issue General Purpose (GP) boots - similar to the outgoing Mark III boots, are black. Trials on various boot features including colour are ongoing.
The CADPAT uniform tends to fade easily. Generally after 3-5 loads through a dryer, it's noticeably faded. Newer generations of the CADPAT uniform have improved to reduce fading.