Russian army says goodbye to earflaps

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 12:40 hrs

Moscow, Jan 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian Army will drop its traditional fur hat with ear flaps known as the "ushanka" in favour of modern winter headgear as part of a new military uniform, an official said Friday.

The army plans to gradually introduce a new uniform by 2014.

The new kit is being designed by St. Petersburg's BTK Group, which presented the new patterns in December 2012.

The winter hat replacing the ushankas will be more suitable for use with a helmet or modern communications devices, BTK vice president Temerlan Darsigov said.

"The army combat uniform set consists of 19 items, including three pairs of footwear. It includes eight layers, which will provide soldiers with optimal comfort depending on the weather conditions and tasks," Darsigov said.

The new gear will include a fleece coat, a windbreaker costume, winter footwear for freezing temperatures and a balaclava helmet.

The uniforms are made of the latest fabrics and materials and can be worn in temperatures from 40 degrees Celsius to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Earlier, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said soldiers will also get rid of another unique but anachronistic Russian army staple, the cloth "footwraps" called "portyanki" in Russian, worn under heavy boots.

Shoigu said they were obsolete and should be replaced by socks.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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