Type 07 (Chinese: “零七”式军服，“07”式军服) is a new family of military uniforms to be used by all branches of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). During 2007-2008, the new uniforms will replace the Type 87 Service Uniforms currently in use by regular units and the Type 97 Service Dress Service Uniforms currently in use by PLA garrison troops in People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison and People's Liberation Army Macau Garrison. The new Type 07 uniforms were unveiled in late June 2007 during the celebration ceremony the 10th anniversary of Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.1
Though new, PLA uniform (especially dress uniform) still borrows strongly from older designs, inspired in turn by Soviet-era Russian army, air force and fleet uniforms. But for the first time, the uniforms also have cuff insignia in the form of stripes indicating years of service in the PLA, worn not just by the PLA's honor guard and color guard, but by all NCO's (similar to US enlisted service stripes), save for the admirals and officers of the PLA Navy who use sleeve insignia in their dress blues.
The Type 07 Army Uniforms will be the newest uniforms to be adopted by all PLA Ground Force and Second Artillery Corps (Strategic Missile Force) units in 2007-08, replacing various uniforms currently in use — the Type 87 Service Uniforms for regular ground forces units and the Type 97 Service Uniforms for PLA garrison troops in Hong Kong and Macau. The new Type 07 uniform made its debut in late June 2007 during the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.
Compared to the previous "olive green" service uniforms that have been in service with the PLA Ground Force since the mid-1980s, the new Type 07 Army Uniforms features a colder "pine green" color, with better material and cutting to give a more stylish and yet professional appearance. All rank insignias are on green backgrounds. The old standing-collar winter service uniform was abandoned in favor of an open-collar design. Furthermore, the Type 07 Army Uniforms have included a dress uniform for the first time to be worn by officers at ceremonial events.
The Type 07 Navy Uniforms replaced the Type 87 Navy Service Uniforms and Type 97 Navy Service Uniforms in current service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The new Type 07 uniform made its debut in late June 2007 during the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, and will be introduced to all PLAN units in the next three years.
The new Type 07 Navy Uniforms adopts white and navy blue as its basic colors, with better material and cutting to give a more stylish and professional appearance. Officers will receive for the first time a dress uniform to be worn at ceremonial events. In addition, officers will receive two Spring/Autumn Service Uniforms instead of one, an all-white design with the traditional shoulder rank insignia and a navy-blue design with cuff insignia replacing the traditional shoulder rank insignia, similar to most navies everywhere.
The Type 07 Air Force Uniforms will replace the two Air Force Service Uniforms in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) — the Type 05 Air Force Service Uniforms currently in use with regular airmen and the Type 97 Air Force Service Uniforms used by the PLA garrison troops in Hong Kong and Macau. The new Type 07 uniform made its debut in late June 2007 during the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.
The new Type 07 Air Force Uniforms inherited the "Air Force Blue" color of the Type 05 Air Force Service Uniforms, but with better material and cutting to give a more stylish and professional appearance. All rank insignias are on blue backgrounds. The old standing-collar winter service uniform was abandoned in favor of an open-collar design. Furthermore, the new uniforms also included for the first time a dress uniform to be worn by officers at ceremonial events.
In 2007, the PLA introduced the Type 07 Combat & Training Uniforms, like US BDU-style, to replace the older Type 87 Combat & Training Uniforms originally introduced in the 1980s. Each serviceman in the PLA has a Winter Combat & Training Uniform made of heavy-weighted cotton fabric material and a Summer Combat & Training Uniform made of poly/cotton twill fabric. Both uniforms consist of a coat, trousers, a soft cap and black leather boots.
The Summer Combat Uniform has a coat, with cuffed sleeves, a soft turndown collar, two breast pockets, two hip pockets, and an arm pocket on the left sleeve. Trousers has 2 inter hip pockets and 2 cargo pockets on legs. A pair of rank cloth insignia (light yellow on olive drab for Army, light yellow on medium blue for Air Force, and light yellow on navy blue for Navy) with velcro is worn on the collars. The service branch cloth badge (Military Commission HQ, Army, Air Force, Navy, or Second Artillery Corps) with velcro is worn above the right chest pocket. The unit shield badge (37 different badges available) is carried on the right sleeve pocket. During a multi-national event, a cloth nametag with both Simplified Chinese and English text is worn above the left chest pocket and the PRC flag color patch may be worn above the left sleeve pocket. But, Navy special ops unit wears PLA Navy ensign flag color patch on their combat uniform. Enlisted and junior commanding personnel also receive a set of wicking T-shirt (either in green or camouflage) and shorts for physical fitness training in summer. Physical fitness training isn't required to senior officers.
For Winter, the combat & training uniform (coat and trousers) is made of thicker heavy-weighted cotton material with front zipper flap. The outer jacket with fur-collar has an inner lining of quilted polyester padding and a detachable hood for better warm-keeping. A fur cap with earflaps and gloves are also available for extreme cold operations.
According to the press release by PLA officials in July 2007, the Type 07 Combat & Training Uniforms should be available in four basic camouflage patterns with each in a four-color scheme. However, the only Type 07 pattern mass-distributed is the universal pattern at the time. Later The desert pattern is primarily used during Winter, and firstly issued to troops in Tibet and border guards near Russia in the Northeast. Woodland is currently issued to Second Artillery Forces in dense forested regions, and the Type 07 Oceanic camouflage is issued to naval special combat units. There are more variants introducing since 2009.
- Universal (Official name: 07 Universal Camouflage, "07 通用迷彩作训服"): Green, brown and black on grey background. This pattern is good for semi-urbanized terrain. It is the standard pattern for the PLA Ground Force and the PLA Air Force, and is being distributed to most of regular units. All officers and soldiers currently serving overseas or at multinational military events have received these uniforms.
- Desert (Official name: 07 Arid Camouflage, "07 荒漠迷彩作训服"): Light khaki, dark brown and black on tan background. The original intent of this pattern was for desert or arid terrain, however it is actually issued as Winter Camouflage pattern regardless of terrain in north China. Footage of its cold weather parka had been seen on TV since late 2008, but the completed uniform was started to issue widely in late 2009.
- Woodland (Official name: 07 Woodland Camouflage, "07 林地迷彩作训服"): Light yellow, medium brown and black on olive green background. It is designated for use in dense bush terrain or jungle, and is mainly issued to the PLA Second Artillery Corps for a couple of years before abandoned. Modified pattern will be reinstated to PLA Second Artillery Corps on May 2012.
- Ocean (Official name: 07 Oceanic Camouflage, "07 海洋迷彩作训服"): Light blue, green and light khaki on medium blue background. It is being issued to the PLA Navy and Marine Corps in limited quantities, such as Spratly Islands garrison forces and Somalia anti-piracy naval task force.
- Navy Blue: It is same cut but in plain dark blue color which is issued to all vessel crew of PLA Navy as working uniform.
- Special Force Camo (Official name: 07 Special Force Camouflage, "07 特战迷彩作训服"): Nickname is "Type 07 Hunter Digital Camo". It is the pixelized pattern of Type 04 Special Force DPM camouflage, and solely used by recce units and special forces of PLA Army since 2010. It was firstly seen with elite CFS (the spec ops unit) formation of 38th Group Army, which also under the command of PLA General Staff HQ, during early rehearsal of 60th National Day in 2009.
- Urban (Official name: 07 Urban Camouflage, "07 城市迷彩作训服"): dark green, light grey, and bluish grey on slate-gray background. Also known as PLAAF Digital Camo. It is adapted by PLA Air Force on Nov 2011. Summer uniform will be released on May 2012. Winter uniform with cold weather parka will be released on Dec 2013. Transition to new uniform should be completed by Dec 2014.
PLA officials always like to introduce irregular camouflage pattern for special occasion. Without exception, PLA had several new digital camouflage patterns for the great military parade of 60th National Day on 1st Oct 2009. According to the press photos were taken from Beijing's Military Parade Village, the following special 07 digital patterns had been seem at rehearsals:
- Airborne Camo --- It was used by the PLAAF 15th Airborne Corps formation at the 60th National Day. Sky blue, green, greyish green and light greyish blue which is very similar with 07 Universal Camouflage.
- Second Artillery Corps Camo --- A variant of 07 Woodland pattern which used reddish brown instead of dark brown. It will be used by PLA Second Artillery Command Academy, Second Artillery Engineering Academy, and Second Artillery Qingzhou NCO Training School formations at the 60th National Day.
Digital camouflage pattern uniforms:
- Ranks, Uniforms & Insignia - SinoDefence.com (English)