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A Canadian soldier, wearing CADPAT (AR) camouflage data

The Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT) uniform was the first computer-designed camouflage pattern to be put into service. It is a major part of the Candian Department of National Defence's Clothe The Soldier Program. [Image: National Defence/Défense nationale.]


The Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT™) uniform has become part of the Canadian Army's identity and puts Canadian soldiers well ahead of most allies in camouflage survivability. In recent studies, CADPAT™ (TW) was rated, by NATO soldiers, as the best temperate and tropical camouflage pattern. Indeed, when it was originally trialled in the field, CADPAT™ (TW) was demonstrated to be 40 per cent more effective, at ranges of up to 200m, than the olive drab CF Combat uniform.

Concurrent with the trials of CADPAT™ (TW), efforts were made to identify a camouflage uniform for operations under desert, near-desert, and savannah conditions. The result was CADPAT™ (AR), a three-colour camouflage comprising digitally aliased blocks of dark brown and medium pinkish-brown on a sand-coloured background. The aliasing produces a dithering effect, which effectively eliminates the boundaries between separate colours.

Apart from the colours, CADPAT™ (AR) also differs from CADPAT™ (TW) inasmuch as the blocks of colour are much larger. This is because perceived areas of 'uniform' colour, in the desert, are typically ten times larger than those perceived in wooded areas (see also U.S. 3-color desert camouflage pattern).

In light of the deployment of the Immediate Reaction Force (Land) (IRF(L)) to Afghanistan, the CADPAT™ (AR) project was expedited, so that the Arid Regions uniforms could be issued to soldiers in the summer of 2002. is grateful to Steve Hoeger, for his invaluable contribution to this article.

camouflage data

1cm grid


Specimen of CADPAT™ (AR)

Specimen kindly supplied by Steve Hoeger

Actual size: 21.59×29.71cm

also known as:
  • Canadian Disruptive Pattern camouflage
country of origin:


National flag: Canada


used by:
  • Canadian Forces (CF)

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