New rigs on trial

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), LSIS Kieran Dempsey (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Melbourne (F05), Uniforms & Equipment

The Ship’s Company of HMAS Melbourne trial the prototype Maritime Multi-cam Pattern Uniform in a sea-going environment. (photo: LSIS Kieran Dempsey)
The Ship’s Company of HMAS Melbourne trial the prototype Maritime Multi-cam Pattern Uniform in a sea-going environment.

A new look multi-cam uniform is being put to the test, for Navy, with trials of the sea-going variant taking place across the Fleet.

The cut, design and pattern of the prototype Maritime Multi-cam Pattern Uniform (MMPU) is based on the Australian Multi-cam Combat Uniform, which is used by the Australian Army and Air Force.

The laboratory-tested MMPU sea-going variant fabric is required to be flame resistant, while being lighter than the Disruptive Pattern Navy Uniform (DPNU) - theoretically allowing it to be more comfortable in warmer climates.

“The trial participants are assessing the comfort and durability of the new rig,” Director of Navy Logistics Support, Captain Catherine Rhodes said.

“We will use the information they give us to eventually produce a maritime uniform which best meets Navy’s requirements,” she said.

The trial has seen the MMPUs issued to members on a wide range of different Navy platforms, including a Major Fleet Unit, three patrol boats and two submarines.

“There are always going to be issues – that’s what a trial is for,” Captain Rhodes said.

“We need to meet our people’s needs and expectations while ensuring our uniform is fit for purpose. It’s a long process to get things right, that’s why the feedback from our trial participants is so important and will be fed into subsequent trial garments over the coming years.”

The manufacture of the MMPU fabric and garments is being carried out in Australia. The fabric is produced by Bruck Pty Ltd, while the garments are manufactured by Australian Defence Apparel. 

The trial of this particular fabric will end in July, but we anticipate trials of more fabrics in the near future.