“Helocasten boven en in de Oude Maas”
donderdag, 12 december 2013 – 03:24 | No Comment

De nieuwe Nederlandse Foxtrot versie van de Chinook transporthelikopter steekt door zijn egaal grijze kleur amper af tegen de heiige horizon als het een run maakt om de juiste positie te bepalen. Terwijl in de …

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Applied Orange RECCS- Risk Environment Civilian Clothing System
vrijdag, 20 maart 2015 – 16:52 | No Comment

First published in PMCI Feb 2015

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We all know Dutch garment maker Applied Orange from our previous article about their high-end flame retardant products. While it might have been quiet surrounding new developments and products. We know for sure they haven’t been sitting still over the last 6 months.

For those that are new to Applied Orange here is a short company profile. Based in the Netherlands, Applied Orange designs and manufacturers premium tactical garments for various purposes and environments. Their almost exclusive use of flame retardant fabrics and European garment sizing and European production capabilities makes for their products to be among the worlds finest in quality, protection and durability.

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About a year ago they where asked by a well known European ‘blue’ Special Operations Forces unit to participate in the development of a flame retardant garment system for discreet usage. The requirement being a newly developed multiple piece garment system that provides adequate protection when used in environments with the highest threat levels.

The basic kit the average unit member would currently take along into these environments is a mix of high-end outdoor and civilian wear. While these garments provide the right look for the job they do not offer the wearer any protection. This might sound very recognizable as it’s common practice for most non-uniformed services. On this premises the Risk Environment Civilian Clothing System was conceived.

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The challenge in developing such a system obviously lay in the fact the garments would have to incorporate a lot of functionality but still retain a casual, outdoor look at most. While it would be impossible to get a true non-overt design and still have enough functionality to fall back on when it’s needed. There are many ways to hide certain elements and shapes in such a way that the overly tacti(cool) look isn’t present. This is largely achieved by using durable yet more casual stitching and construction.

A few moths of trialing and testing the existing Applied Orange products on durability and comfort showed which products could be adapted and which ones to design from scratch. Usage in well known hot spots and continuous torment showed the garments to be very resilient and durable (even to the often interesting local flavor of doing laundry). Extensive work soon began on designing new garments with the emphasis on the small details and the often highly specific functionality required. It took substantial design and prototype iterations to finally get the products re-trialed and ready to where they are now.

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To top off the requirements the unit has female and male personnel. This meant all designs have to be gender specific. While this might sound a matter of adjusting sleeve length the truth couldn’t be father from that. The garments in the system are purposely designed for the male or female body shape specifics.

The jump-off point of a multiple garment systems developed into a 5 piece system. The entire system designed to work complementary to each garment and provide the best conform and functionality. Multilayer flame retardant garments have the added value of providing additional protection to flame and heat. So when used on conjunction the garments serve multiple purposes.

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From moment one, each single garment has been designed around Ten Cate Defender M fabric. While initial testing within the unit was done with garments based on this fabric. The durability, comfort and quick drying capabilities proved this was the right fabric to continue development on as-well. Applied Orange has been working intimately with Royal Ten Cate for years. This has given them a true edge in designing garments that get the most out of the performance of Defender M fabrics. Even the jersey fabrics used in the clothing system are flame retardant Ten Cate fabrics that are truly comfortable to the users but still give the required protection.

The system consists of the following products:

  • Low profile under armour shirt
  • Long sleeve base layer shirt
  • Polo shirt
  • Ops-Trousers
  • Semi-casual concealment shirt

Further development on additional is already on the way.

One of the specific requirements of the system is the use in conjunction with various plate carriers, low profile body armour and chest rigs. These are wearable on the low profile under armour shirt, polo shirt and long sleeve. When worn in conjunction with the concealment shirt the rig or carrier will generally completely covered.

While other shirts have a lot of trouble with pilling because of the equipments velcro being directly exposed on the fabric. The Ten Cate materials prove very resilient to this torment and are highly durable when worn day in day out with hard nylon equipment.

Joint protection is achieved with integrable D3O pads. The Low profile shirt and ops-trousers respectively have internal and external pad holders that make the pads as covert as possible while still being at the right place at the right time when you need them.

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Here is a brief overview of each item.

Low profile under armour shirt

The Low profile under armour shirt is an adaptation of the combat proven Applied Orange UBAX shirt. While most major features have been retained the arms features a different pocket layout and design with integrated pen holders. This allows for the low profile shirt to be worn under the concealment shirt and proves less tactical looking when worn as a top layer without a plate carrier or chest rig.

Long sleeve base layer shirt

The long sleeve base layer shirt is a fast drying moist wicking solution to be worn under the low profile shirt or as a top layer. It’s design could be something you would buy at your local clothing store. Yet it features a great ergonomic design that’s not too tight on the body yet won’t flap about or cause double fabric layers under a plate carrier. The shirt has an extra long design to stop it from crawling out of your trousers when getting in and out a vehicle multiple times day.

Polo shirt

The Polo shirt is a semi-casual alternative for the long sleeve. To be worn in places where it’s desirable to be dressed less casual. What makes this polo so special is it’s one of the few on the market that features flame retardant fabrics and is short sleeve. As an extra it has integrated pen holders on both arms.

Ops-Trousers

The ops-trousers were designed from scratch for the garment system. They bare no resemblance with previous Applied Orange designs and are a truly great bit of kit. While we will not get into all the specifics the mean features are the fit and storage. The hip centered design allows for optimal use when worn with a duty belt or battle belt. Storage is provided in 10 different pockets of various sizes and purposes ranging from hidden upper leg pockets for phones and small items to an Israeli bandage pocket on the lower legs.

Like common with Applied Orange products all functionality is ambidextrous. One of the most innovative features is the large cargo pocket with an elastic hem and self closing flap. Complemented with a alternative access zipper (large enough to operate with cloves and big hands) that opens in reverse for use in a vehicle, these pockets are low profile yet have easy access and a large storage capability.

Semi-casual concealment shirt

One specific desire of the unit was a casual, even semi-casual looking shirt that’s oversized enough to conceal a plate carrier or chest rig to give that 1-2 seconds extra of being less recognizable when getting out a vehicle in a high risk area. Applied Orange came up with a solution based on a shirt you’d find at your nearest tailor. It wouldn’t look out of place when worn with a suit. The front is closed with snap buttons for quick release and fast-access to vital equipment.

The entire system is available in various colour ways. The flexibility of the Applied Orange production facility allows for garments to be made in small numbers and a range of colours. These range from various greens and tans to the brand new Urban Grey (displayed in the photo’s alongside this article). How ever any colour is possible and can be purposely manufactured.

On a side note, this seems to be the first public appearance of flame retardant urban grey. It’s a known fact this colour is a growing trend within the various communities. With the addition of a flame retardant variant it seems Applied Orange can now fill the gap to use this colour on an operational basis in high risk environments.

Applied Orange is bringing the (RECCS) Risk Environment Civilian Clothing System to market in quarter one 2015. How ever they have made it clear that due to the fact it was designed for governmental use it won’t be commercially available. Any potential buyer has to match the end user criteria. For more information interested parties are encouraged to contact gov@appliedorange.com.

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