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Latvian M20 WoodLatPat Camouflage Update

Latvian M20 WoodLatPat photographed in near natural light ~ letters NBS, inverted here, stand for Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki or National Armed Forces [© Bob Morrison]

In April 2020 the Latvian Ministry of Defence publicly unveiled the intriguing M20 WoodLatPat camouflage uniform which is now on general issue, writes Bob Morrison.

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The new Latvian camouflage, which uses rhomboid and triangular shapes instead of the circa. 2007 and 2016 cubic designs, appeared just as the COVID pandemic was spreading around the globe and as a result until last week I had not been able to photograph it.

Latvian M20 WoodLatPat photographed under mixed lighting conditions [©BM]

Although a Latvian contingent deployed to Hohenfels in Germany for SABER JUNCTION 20, as they were assigned to the OpFor role they mostly wore black coveralls rather than camouflage uniforms and those times when they did wear camo out on the training area they understandably stuck to older LatPat combats rather than WoodLatPat to keep their newly issued uniforms pristine. My next chance to photograph the new camo should have come during KEVADTORM 21 in Estonia, but a pandemic spike and resultant travel restrictions prevented the Latvian contingent crossing the border into the neighbouring country so that opportunity did not materialise.

Latvian M20 WoodLatPat photographed under interior lighting conditions [©BM]

The M20 WoodLatPat uniform seen here was worn by a Lieutenant Colonel (Pulkvežleitnants) attached to the NATO ACT (Allied Command Transformation) who like myself was attending the International Armoured Vehicles or IAV 2023 conference in London. The photographs were taken indoors under variable lighting conditions but the colonel kindly agreed to step out into the glass-fronted foyer to allow me to try to capture the back panel of his combat shirt in as close to natural lighting as possible.

Minister of Defence (2019-22) Artis Pabriks sees the new uniform worn by two soldiers on left – officer in centre wears Multi-LatPat and officer behind his left shoulder wears LatPat [© Latvian MoD: Gatis Dieziš]

This interesting pattern is predominantly verdant with light and dark green shades, a greenish tan / stone, an earthy brown and a very dark brown being used. Occasionally where a light shade is overlaid on a darker shade it can appear that a sixth colour is present, but I am fairly confident that this is just an optical illusion. Most edges are straight, giving a very angular appearance, but some of the dark green shapes have spattered spray edges which adds to the three-dimensional appearance. Some commentators state that this pattern was designed to confuse near infrared night vision devices but I have yet to see documentary evidence of this.

Latvian M16 Multi-LatPat personal equipment, Hohenfels 2020 [©BM]

It will be interesting to see how this pattern performs in the field against Baltic foliage and urban backgrounds and just as soon as either Carl or myself have the opportunity to photograph Latvian troops on exercise or deployment we will bring you a follow-up article.

Latvian M07 LatPat uniform, Hohenfels 2020 [©BM]

[images © Bob Morrison unless noted]

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