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Armed Forces: Uniforms

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the outcome of the meeting with clothing specialists held in his Department on 23 October 2008 was; and what progress has been made in finding a substitute for bearskin caps. (232800)

The industry day held on 23 October to assess the market’s appetite and capability to develop a faux fur replacement for the bearskin cap was attended by six companies. The industry representatives were able to gain a clear understanding of the technical challenges involved, and expressed a keenness to contribute to a successful outcome if at all possible.

MOD intends to place a development contract with one or more suppliers through competition. An invitation to tender is likely to be issued early in 2009 with contract award likely to be mid 2009. Due to the complexities of producing a faux fur with no discernable difference from real bear fur in appearance and behaviour, it is possible that development and trialling by the customer may take longer.