Russian Army Says Goodbye to Earflaps

MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Army will drop its traditional fur hat with ear flaps – known as the “ushanka” – in favor of a modern winter headgear, as part of a new military uniform, a senior official at a Russian design company said on Friday.

The Russian 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 devises, BTK Group 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 (104 degrees Fahrenheit) to – 40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Earlier this week, Russia’s new Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said soldiers will also get rid of another unique but anachronistic Russian army staple – the cloth foot-wraps (called “portyanki” in Russian) worn under heavy boots.

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


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