It probably wouldn't have saved the MOD any money. Production lines would need altering, specifications rewritten etc etc. All they needed to do to produce a desert DPM version is to change the material that is fed in to the production process.
Mr Happy is quite right with Matelot a close second.
The little arm pocket on the smock is for a Recco Reflector. Primarily used for avalanche victim detection.
The RECCO system operates on the frequency doubling principle. The detector transmits a directional radar signal. When hitting a reflector, the frequency of the signal is doubled and returned to the detector. When the detector receives the new signal, the search person receives a tone in their earphones, facilitating an exact localization of the avalanche victim.
You dont have to buried in an avalanche for it to work though a detector can detect you at any time. They have been used in some CSAR operations.
I once bought a pair of windproof tousers (the decent arctic ones not the crappy fall down round you ankles SAS ones) and there was a lump sewn into one of the thigh pockets. Aftere cutting it out, it was one of these Recco thingies. Not having the slightest scoobies what it was I binned it. Never mind, not many avalanches on SENTA so shouldn't be much of a drama.
The RECCOÂ® reflector is permanently affixed to skiers and snowboarders while they are recreating in the mountains. The small piece weighs less than four grams and is designed into commercially available outerwear, helmets, boots and protection gear. This ensures the reflector won't be left in the car, stashed mistakenly in the lodge or forgotten at home. It is a non-powered device, meaning it never needs to be switched on, will never loose signal strength and needs no batteries to function. It requires no maintenance and has a virtually unlimited lifespan.
The actual component is a small electronic transponder with a copper aerial and a diode. Similar to a thin, printed circuit card and surrounded by protective weatherproof plastic, it is factory mounted to the exterior of gear that is unlikely to be torn off in the event of an avalanche. The reflector is engineered to sit slightly raised from the body and is placed in a specific external configuration for optimal reflection in the event of a burial.
The two-part technology operates on the frequency-doubling principle. The RECCO reflector bounces back the directional radar signal to the searcher and doubles the frequency, allowing the operator of the RECCO detector to actually hear where the burial is located. This enables rapid pinpointing of the signal and tracks searchers on a direct path to the burial. The reflectors are most effective when worn on a helmet or in pairsâpant and jacket or left and right bootâdue to the unpredictable orientation of avalanche burials.
Unlike operating a transceiver, which requires education and practice, there is no learning curve for use of the RECCO reflector. It is integrated into commercially available gear by the manufacturer and therefore requires no additional investment by the on-hill user. The reflector can be washed without damage and will not interfere with any electronic device since it does not transmit any sort of signal. And, with only a passive role to play in the rescue, the RECCO reflector does not compete with other search methods and therefore functions as an effective complement toâbut not a replacement forâwearing a transceiver. RECCO reflectors do not prevent avalanches nor do they guarantee location or survival in the event of a burial, but they do provide one more chance for skiers and snowboarders to be found quickly by organized rescue.