Canadian Disruptive Pattern
CADPAT TW fabric
TypeMilitary camouflage pattern
Place of originCanada
Service history
In service1997-present
Used byCanada
WarsWar in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Production history
VariantsSee § Pattern variations

Canadian Disruptive Pattern[1] (CADPAT; French: dessin de camouflage canadien, DcamC)[2] is the computer-generated digital camouflage pattern first issued in 1997, then fully standardised by 2002 (completely replacing the obsolete olive-green uniform) and is currently used by the Canadian Armed Forces (CF). CADPAT TW is designed to reduce the likelihood of detection by night vision devices.[2]


Canada's desire for a new soldier system dated back to November 1988 and closely followed efforts in many NATO countries. The first research effort, called Integrated Protective Clothing and Equipment (IPCE) Technology Demonstration, was initiated in 1995 but then was cancelled, due to high systems cost and failure to meet the majority of the requirements. Ongoing operations in the mid-1990s led to the creation of the Clothe the Soldier (CTS) Project, which directly addressed the NATO soldier system capability areas of survivability and sustainability. The Canadian Disruptive Pattern was a part of ongoing research and implemented during the CTS Project.[3]

Once CADPAT Temperate Woodland was finalized, field tests began in 1995. After satisfactory results, CADPAT was adopted by the Canadian Army in 1997; however, testing was not concluded until 2001 once the pattern was copyrighted. Many debates speculate the pattern was the direct inspiration for the United States Marine Corps pursuit and adoption of their own camouflage pattern MARPAT when replacing their Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform in late 2001 to early 2002.

The use of CADPAT AR overseas was first reported in Afghanistan when Taliban prisoners of war were seen escorted by armed Canadian commandos in the camo. This nearly made things complicated for the Department of National Defence, since it had said that no Canadian commandos were officially in Afghanistan.[4][5] The use of CADPAT TW was reported in September 2001 with Canadian soldiers serving under Palladium Rotation 09.[5]

In 2019, tests were conducted for plans to eventually replace CADPAT in service with the Canadian Forces.[6][7] Under the Soldier Operational Clothing and Equipment Modernization (SOCEM) project, the DND is seeking feedback and advice from users of the trial camouflage known as Prototype J before a decision is made in 2022. A new camouflage pattern would be adopted by 2027.[8]

The CADPAT TW variant is scheduled to be replaced by the CADPAT MT (Multi-Terrain) variant as the main camo pattern.[9]

Pattern variations

Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on exercise wearing CADPAT TW

In development for the better part of a decade, the pattern comes in three varieties: temperate woodland (TW), arid region (AR), and winter/arctic (WA). The temperate woodland pattern became the standard issue for the Army in 2002, with the Air Force following suit in 2004. Uniforms and equipment in CADPAT material replaced the olive-green material in use since the early 1960s.

Temperate woodland

Canadian soldier wearing tactical vest and the fragmentation protective vest

The temperate woodland (TW) pattern has four specific colours—light green, dark green, brown, and black—and was first introduced in 1996 on the helmet cover for the new CG634 helmet then coming into service. At the same time, the pattern was also introduced on a new soldier's individual camouflage net. The CADPAT TW uniform allows Canadian soldiers protection from observation by the naked eye and night vision devices.

Arid regions

Soldiers from the Canadian Grenadier Guards wearing CADPAT AR in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan

Concurrent with the trials of CADPAT TW, work was carried out to identify a uniform for operations in desert, near desert, and savanna environmental conditions. This three-colour pattern, known as CADPAT arid regions (AR), incorporates three different colours of brown. The CADPAT design for arid regions has been approved, and the transfer of this digital technology is ongoing to the textiles industry. CADPAT AR also features two additional arm pockets and Velcro on the arms compared to the TW uniform. In light of the deployment of the Immediate Reaction Force to Afghanistan, the CADPAT AR project was expedited with the intent that it would be issued to soldiers in summer 2002.[5]


The winter/arctic pattern was introduced as an upgrade to the monochrome winter whites to further enhance the Canadian soldier's camouflage capability by day and night. It includes near infra-red (NIR) technology.[10]


Defence Research and Development Canada based at CFB Suffield (DRDC-S) has a requirement to develop a new urban pattern for the Canadian Forces based on the three major metropolitan areas of Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. This new pattern is known as the Canadian urban environment pattern (CUEPAT).[11]


  1. ^ "Plan to outfit Canadian troops with U.S. uniforms a waste of $500M: top camouflage designer". National Post. Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b CADPAT on the Canadian Army website
  3. ^ "Canada turns need into reality". Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c "CADPAT TW Camo ~ Royal 22e Régiment". May 25, 2019. Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Canadian military tests new camouflage uniform as replacement for iconic pattern in use since early 2000s". National Post. Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "New CADPAT design being tested". Sep 20, 2019. Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "Canadian Army - Uniform, Camouflage and Equipment Modernization Process Marches On - Soldier Systems Daily". Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "Canada Adopts CADPAT-MT Camouflage - Soldier Systems Daily".
  10. ^ Consoltex Archived July 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "CUEPAT (Canadian Urban Environment Pattern) Trial Uniforms". Retrieved Aug 22, 2020.

External links

Media files used on this page

Private Rodney Carmichael and Private Shawn Thorburn are riflemen with C Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Privates Carmichael and Thorburn post security on the final day of MAGTEFX while their platoon makes a hit on a house to fight back enemy insurgents. C Company, 3 PPCLI, came to the 13 MEU's TRUEX and MAGTEFX that was held at the Southern California’s Logistics Air Port in April 2005.
Allied Spirit I 150116-A-LO967-011.jpg
Canadian soldiers of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment conduct scout operations during exercise Allied Spirit at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 16, 2015. Exercise Allied Spirit includes more than 1,600 participants from Canada, Hungary, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the U.S. Allied Spirit is exercising tactical interoperability and testing secure communications within alliance members. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tyler Kingsbury/Released)
Soldiers from the Canadian Grenadier Guards in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan.
Author/Creator: Doubleailes, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Camouflage CADPAT
Peacock Flounder Bothus mancus in Kona (vertical).jpg
Author/Creator: Brocken Inaglory, Licence: CC BY 2.5
Peacock Flounder, Bothus mancus displaying its active camouflage abilities, changing colors depending on the colors of its surroundings. All frames are of the same fish taken few minutes apart. He changed colors to match his surroundings as I watched. In the last frame he buried himself in the sand. Almost nothing but the eyes are seen.