Last year we looked at the first pattern of Irish Army UBACS shirt, which featured a chest panel printed in the distinctive Irish disruptive pattern of camouflage. This early pattern of UBACS was found to have a problem once it had been in service for some time. The screen printing of the camouflage on the chest panel was insufficiently robust and it wore off very quickly. In response to this, the pattern was updated with a plain chest panel instead:
The chest panel was produced in a light tan self-wicking fabric, and the high zipped collar was retained to allow it to be worn comfortably under body armour without a collar getting in the way, but unzipped for ventilation when required:
The fabric chosen for the other parts of the shirt has also been updated and is now a rip-stop type of fabric with a distinctive criss-cross grid of reinforcing threads to prevent the fabric from ripping as easily if caught on something. Here it can be seen on the lower arms, note also the tab and pair of buttons on the cuffs to allow the sleeves to be drawn in:
The rear of each forearm has a full length pocket, secured by Velcro, which allows padding to be added if required:
A pair of pockets are sewn to the sleeves, each angles and with a velcroed top flap. A Piece of loop tape is sewn to the outside of the pocket to allow insignia to be attached or removed as required:
Most soldiers are issued four national flags for wear on uniforms, a mixture of full colour and subdued and they can be found as either embroidered or rubberised patterns. The label inside the shirt indicates it was made by the Belgian firm Seyntex in 2016:
Irish soldiers have reported that the sizing on the UBACS shirts seems to be a little small, especially in the arms if the wearer is particularly muscular so it is advised they get a size larger than they would normally wear to ensure it is comfortable and not too tight. In the Irish Army the UBACS is seen very much as combat clothing and not to be worn around barracks, but only on operations or training and it is not issued to new recruits, only being used once a soldier makes it to his regiment. Like all Irish camouflage kit, these UBACS are highly sought after, especially as the Irish Army does not sell its surplus kit in Ireland and it is not easy to obtain overseas. UBACS shirts have an additional degree of ‘allyness’ especially amongst the airsoft community so the combination of rarity and design make these very popular and a number of copies have been produced over the years, although genuine ones will have Seyntex labels in them.
Your facts are a little off. The new Style UBACS was introduced not because the pattern was wearing off the body of the original variant but because of the mainly polyester construction which can melt onto a wearers skin in an IED strike. The 2017 variant is made from FR material to mitigate this. And this has now morphed into the latest variant which has an offset neck zip.Irish Soldiers are not issued four tricolours in the colours and materials you mentioned.With the exception of the UBACS our Operational clothing comes with the Tricolours pre stitched on. Some people purchased rubberised full colour and subdued flags but they are not widespread. There ARE issue Infrared reflective Tricolours in both full colour and subdued variants but at the time of writing this they are only issued to SOF.
Thanks Robert, that’s really helpful. I must confess I know very little about Irish kit and the information I pulled here was from an Irish Army forum for serving/ex members of the Irish military where they were discussing the UBACs- I had assumed they knew what they were talking about! Glad to have the correct information