The Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) has ordered the decades-old camouflage uniforms and boots worn by personnel onboard combat ships be replaced, Kyunghyang Shinmun reported.
Personnel aboard submarines and combat service support ships will receive the new uniforms by June, the Seoul-based news outlet added.
Uniform ‘Vulnerable’ to Flame
The upgrade follows an assessment by the service which revealed that the uniforms were “inconvenient” and “vulnerable” to a fire aboard navy vessels, which have narrow passages to exit during a blaze.
“Existing naval ship suits have been pointed out as being inconvenient and particularly vulnerable to flames in ships with many protruding parts due to narrow passages, equipment, and bolts and nuts,” the outlet explained.
Same Uniform for Army
Moreover, the uniform worn previously by the naval service personnel was the same worn by the army and other land-based military service members.
The outlet reported that the uniform was developed with working conditions of land-based combat personnel in mind and did not reflect factors such as “internal heat of engine rooms or boiler rooms, and the characteristics of working in ships with a risk of fire or explosion.”
Superior Quality Uniform
The new uniform, similar in style to the current US Navy vessel suit, was developed by a domestic manufacturer with several characteristics in mind, including “flame retardancy, quality improvement, and national defense standardization.”
The new uniform comes in two types: one for winter and one for summer. It also comes in two shades of blue: standard blue and sky blue.
The standard-issue clothing is flame resistant and has antibacterial properties, the outlet revealed, adding that it’s elastic, air-permeable, and has anti-static properties to diffuse electrical charges.
The flame-resistant material added to the fabric resists fire catching on the material for more than two seconds, the outlet revealed.
Additionally, the military has also discarded the shoes worn by the service members since 1952.
Not only will the new shoes have a better surface grip, but they are also “waterproof, oil-resistant, and shock-absorbing.”