New French combat uniform from 2018

In 2018, the French Army would begin to dress up its soldiers, including legionnaires, with new combat uniforms. This transition corresponds with its “Warrior 2020” project, the first stage of a series of developments aimed at a complete modernization of French troops.

Insufficient uniforms T3 and T4

Between 2008-15, the French Army was replacing its old fatigues/battledress, Uniform F2 (fully adopted around 2000, as a modernized, camouflaged version of the previous olive green Uniform F1, used since the 1970’s), with a mixture of new combat uniform variants – Uniform T3 and Uniform T4 (this one, in addition to that, yet in version S1 and S2).

According to officials, these uniforms had to serve for testing the needs of an ordinary soldier in combat conditions – during the War in Afghanistan (Uniform T3), or during Operation Epervier, Operation Serval and their successor, Operation Barkhane (Uniform T4) in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, to improve the future fatigues/battledress.

Foreign Legion - Uniform T3 + Uniform T4 - 2016
A good example of the current mixture of uniforms. These two legionnaires belong to the same company of the 1er REG. Nevertheless, the legionnaire on the left is wearing Uniform T3, while the legionnaire on the right is wearing Uniform T4, version S2.


New Uniform F3

With taking their soldiers’ observations into consideration, a new uniform was designed. It’s called Uniform F3. The new uniform is a little bit slimmer than the T3 and T4. Its vest doesn’t have cheast pockets with buttons (T3, inaccessible with a tactical vest), either old-fashioned shoulder boards (T4) nor bottom pockets on the vest (both, T3 + T4).

The uniform would be supplemented with a new HK 416 F rifle (from Germany) and a new SMB tactical vest (made by NFM Group, a Norwegian company), and is fully compatible with the improved FÉLIN 1.3., a French infantry combat system for the 21th century. The French Army also notified that new tactical boots should replace that ones used in recent operations in the Sahara (with bad results because of the heat).

There are rumors that legionnaires from the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE) could be among the first units to receive the new uniform. They should wear it during their overseas operations planned for 2018.

In the official videoclip of the French Army, we can see the new SMB personalized tactical vest, the French infantry soldiers (including legionnaires) would be equipped with, since 2018. It can be modified for specific mission purposes.

The new uniform was presented for the first time in September 2017. The images were taken by Jean-Marc Tanguy, a respected French journalist interested in the military, and published on his website Le mamouth.

See also:
3e REI: Christmas Challanges 2017
1er REC: Two legionnaires killed in Djibouti
2e REP: Military training in late 2017
13e DBLE: Bold Alligator 2017