SHAH ALAM: In and out. Just before I went to isolation in the last week of July this year, I noticed a request for bids to supply the Army with a total of 301,950 digital pattern BDUs for a period of three years. The RFB was published on July 22 and was supposed to close on September 21. The digital pattern BDUs are the Army standard one used since their introduction in 2013 which has also seen adoption on equipment and vehicles.
Tentera Darat digital camo on show in 2016., Next to the digital CBRNe suit is the Integrated Personnel Protection ensemble.
However when I search for the same RFB on the Eperolehan website today (August 10) it was missing from the advertisements that were still active (as the closing date is September 21). So I checked with the cancelled column and found it there, meaning it was cancelled. I have no idea why the digital pattern BDU RFB was cancelled but after further checking I found another RFB issued for some 295,962 digital pattern BDU in early 2020.
Updated: The digital pattern BDU tender was re-advertised on August 12 with a closing date of October 12. The same number of digital pattern BDUs is being sought same as the one published on July 22 and then cancelled. The new RFB specifications include a notice of compliance to the Army digital pattern BDU first issued in 2012 and revised in 2017. The notice of compliance was not included in the July 22 RFB specifications, the likely reason for its cancellation.
Thirty seven bidders qualified for the RFB with the lowest bid coming in at RM15.094 million and the highest RM20.362 million. It is likely that these bids came from the same companies but with different names and field codes as the lowest bid were put by three bidders.
Apart from the Army, both RMN and RMAF have also got their own digital BDU. RMN chief Adm Reza in the digital camo and cap at the opening ceremony of Eks KerisMas 2019. RMN
Both the 2020 and 2021 RFB specifications were almost the same apart from some changes including the numbers being sought. It is likely the 2020 RFB went nowhere and a new one was issued last month until to replace it, only to be canceled for unspecified reasons.As usual your guess is as good as mine on the reasons why it was cancelled.
Another digital camo pack that was photographed in 2018. BTDM
As stated above the number of digital pattern BDUs are meant to be supplied for a period of three years, making it one of the largest contracts for such uniforms since 2013. if it went ahead. There have been other contracts for the Army digital pattern of course, but those were small ones compared to the ones being sought for both RFBs. I am not sure whether the canceled RFB will be reissued, we will have to wait and see then.
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The pack (bergen) is a direct copy of the British PLCE which we first got for Bosnia. The side pockets on this one is non detachable though and there are two frontal pockets. I hope this is as indestructible as the PLCE which is made from codura (strengthened nylon).
Wonder why are we still stuck with digital camo. The US Army has already ditched their digicam back to conventional patterned camo since 2015. This experiment has proven to failed, now is the right time (and right reason) to revert back to conventional camo designs. And for goodness sake, those designers should drill into their heads, what works for human sized bodies might not work for huge vehicles & aircraft!