Winter 2016

Future Forces 2016, devoted to new materials and technologies for defence and security, took place from 19 to 21 October in Prague, the Czech capital city. TenCate Protective Fabrics was an exhibitor and presented the next generation of protective fabrics for the soldier of the future.

Future Forces is a biennial three-day NAVO exhibition on new materials and sophisticated technologies for defence and security. Future Forces is the new designation for the Future Soldier or Soldier Modernization programme – although it concerns considerably more than just the soldier. 

4 protective future forces tatjana topalovic
At the Future Forces forum, Tatjana Topalović, director R&D of TenCate Protective Fabrics EMEA, spoke about the new generation of TenCate Defender™ M protective fabrics for military applications, which incorporates the most recent developments and requirements in the field of personal protection resources

‘Uniforms must be functional, comfortable and durable,’ sums up Tatjana Topalović. ‘They must be suitable for diverse work and climatological conditions and provide protection against increasing threats and dangers. This requires continuous adjustments and improvements. The next generation of TenCate Defender™ M fabrics is the result of pioneering research and development, stringent tests, state-of-the-art production processes and a good understanding of the risks confronting soldiers. The fabrics provide exceptional protection against heat and fire, and at the same time are comfortable and durable.’ 

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For the American army, TenCate Defender™ M is the standard for uniforms with fire-resistant protection, while the clothing system of the British Royal Air Force is based virtually completely on this fabric (photo: SSG Marcus J. Quarterman)

The various characteristics of TenCate Defender™ M have been further improved since previous comparable presentations.  The new generation of fabrics is again lighter, stronger, more comfortable and has improved thermal fire-resistant protection. TenCate has been producing inherently flame-retardant fabrics for quite some time. The (military) market is becoming ever more aware of the importance of this protection, and the competition has therefore increased. They both feel this is an extra challenge – even though TenCate Defender™ M remains number 1 in terms of weight, strength and wearer comfort. ‘We have a fantastic product, that’s beyond dispute. TenCate Defender™ M is a strong brand. The customers also notice that you listen to them and come up with solutions.’ 

TenCate Protective Fabrics continues to refine protection solutions. This applies, for example, to the colour scheme and the thermal characteristics. ‘The fabric is no longer used solely in countries with a warm climate, such as Iraq and Afghanistan,’ says Willy van Kampen, market manager of TenCate Protective Fabrics. ‘It is also worn in more northerly areas and in jungle environments.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)