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More Info on Australian Adoption of MultiCam

The interim purchase of Gen 3 MultiCam uniforms is termed “Crye Precision Camouflage Uniform” (CPCU). The Australian variant will be called Australian Multicam Pattern (AMP).

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14 Responses to “More Info on Australian Adoption of MultiCam”

  1. Bung says:

    Hmmm…. considering the time difference and the fact that the Australian Govt. and Defence here have not released any information about this, not even a Chinese whisper through the ranks, this information can only have been released by Crye. The question now is this, have these references been appointed in writing under the terms of the contract or is this a reinforcement action by Crye? Has Crye just ‘spoken out of school’?
    Another point of interest is the timing of the completion of the Australian version.
    The five week timeframe appears to line-up with a potential announcement and display of the product at the 2011 Defence + Industry Conference, 28-30 June, in Adelaide. Similar to the publicity stunt pulled Jason Clare, Min. for Defence Material, at the 2010 Land Warfare Conference last November.
    Now, why does this whole process grate with me? Australia has previously developed the DPCU pattern which was a leap in design, especially with the computing technology of the late ’70s and early ’80s that was used to develop it. We still have that capability, and more, but now the Govt. chooses to ignore it, or set it up to fail so that they can have their way. Therefore, we do not need to go offshore for a suitable pattern for Afghanistan, and really, that is ALL this pattern is for. DPCU will remain in use in Australia.
    The license to cut and sew uniforms in the Crye style, is simply not required. Knee pads, padded waists etc. have been used in uniform design for well over half a century. There is no IP to them, we just need to design the uniform and make it. As for rapid prototyping to get good gear to the soldiers in the field, had defence selected Australian sources and allowed them to carry out the job, unhindered, an effective pattern and uniform would have been fielded at least four months ago. As it is, the first units in off-the-shelf crye are yet to go operational.
    I need to point out the exact problems with the midpoint pattern trial so that readers understand. The textile manufacturer was given three months to produce the pattern to a colour-way specified by defence and print enough fabric to fit out deployed troops. The completed uniforms were shipped to the operational are and were received at midpoint in the trial units deployment. From this point, logistical considerations made it almost impossible to get the uniforms to front-line soldiers, therefore little of the pattern was trialed. Check the press images on the Australian Dept. of Defence website, and look for soldiers ‘wearing’ Midpoint on patrol.
    Lastly, if the US DoD chooses a foreign camo designer, we can sit back and listen to the screams of US designers. BTW, why isn’t Crye submitting for the solicitation? Don’t answer! I think I already know!

  2. Dev says:

    With the whole shebang and clusterfuck what was the Land 125 program, I think this is the best outcome.

    At least we’d be getting a decent pattern, it’s kind of sad that a foreign-designed camouflage actually works better in Australia than our own design.

  3. Strike-Hold! says:

    Why the whinging about a “foreign” camo pattern? Where did your rifles come from, your machine guns, your tanks, your aircraft? I’m just sayin’… we’re all in the same game together.

  4. Administrator says:

    Bung,

    We have no idea who has or has not submitted for the US Army solicitation as it has not yet closed. The effort was devised so that it is impossible for MultiCam or any other “universal” pattern to prevail.

    However, there are reasons the US adopted UCP and those deal with cost and availability. The current effort flies directly in the face of these lessons learned. We have written on this in the past to deaf ears in Government.

  5. Bung says:

    Admin:
    The list of interested parties registering for the US Camo Solicitation provides a very telling snapshot. As I have yet to see Crye on there, it can mean only two things. That Crye is not submitting (Most likely) or that they are submitting through a shelf corporation so as to distance themselves from their followers.
    For Crye to openly submit a family of patterns, is a grave admission that multicam is not so multi.
    The reason a family of patterns was requested is because UCP really IS the lesson that was learnt. There are some very good patterns out there, but one pattern does it all. The US now knows this and so do many other countries, and as time goes, more countries are learning this. Perhaps this is why they are not listening.
    Again, the issue here is the missing consultation with local defence industry and the direct route to Crye based on what amounts to nothing more than personal opinion. Have we mentioned that the word amongst Australian SF is that if the regulars are going to look the same as them, they want a new pattern? Strange but true.

    Now, as to you Lawrence (Strike-Hold!), your comments irk me greatly. No whinging is occurring here. What is happening is growing discontent with a Govt. that preaches protection of Australian industry but ignores it completely. We are conducting the same fight that saw the introduction of the Berry Amendment in the US, due to all the “whinging” about foreign content in US equipment.
    One more thing Lawrence, Brane Cervek, the designer of Land Camo Sub 3D, was most flattered when you contacted him on behalf of your blog and questioned him on his methods and techniques used to develop his designs. He wasn’t aware of your relationship with Dominic Hyde (Hyde Definition/Pencott) at the time. He is now.

    It is safe to say that we’re not quite all in this game together.

  6. Administrator says:

    Bung,

    Since it is obvious you are a rep for a company you will need to disclose your identity to the readership. This is mandatory in your next post.

    Unfortunately, your entire line of comments reeks very much of “whinging” and sour milk. I really hate to have to call someone out like this, but your conduct leaves no option but confront the behavior or let it slide and invite more of the same.

    Also, you are absolutely correct. You are not in this with anyone. This is business. You have competitors.

    Now, to the real heart of the inaccuracies in your most recent statement.
    Interested parties mean nothing. Companies will register as interested parties for a solicitation and never reply and others will stay mum until the last possible moment and then submit a bid. We will only know whether or not a company has bid if they tell us or the Government releases a list.

    Universal patterns are universally flawed. However, they are a compromise across ALL environments rather than a match for one micro environment and a complete mismatch in all others. The US has assumed the role of international policeman. In that role, our forces may find themselves at very short notice (<72 hrs) in virtually any environment. It behooves us to equip our forces with items that will blend in to as many of those environments as possible. Hence, the concept of “universal” camouflage.

    The US isn’t some small country that deploys a battalion or two at a time. It deploys by the division and corps. That a lot of troops and it can’t take weeks and months to do it. The US intervenes on the scale of hours and days. When you look at the size of our standing Army you soon realize that a bunch of specialized camo patterns is really impractical from a cost perspective.

    I agree that UCP is ineffective in the roll that it was chosen for. The US Army agrees, hence the “Camouflage Improvement Effort”. Actually, there are those in Government who are listening. In fact, expect to see a report from the GAO lambasting all of these service specific patterns.

    When you claim that “MultiCam isn’t so multi”, you are comparing apples to oranges. MultiCam is intended as a universal pattern. The Army’s planned measures of effectiveness will pit specific patterns only against the environments they were designed for (eg Woodland Pattern in a forest setting, Desert Pattern in a desert). PEO Soldier does not want to assess universal patterns. They have done so already and found MultiCam to be the most effective across the board for this application. To ascertain if “MultiCam were so Multi” the Army would have to evaluate every pattern submitted in every environment.

    The Army can’t afford multiple specialized patterns, particularly in the out years. Even if they could, they wouldn’t issue them to everyone and we would see troops in desert operations wearing woodland kit just like in ODS and OEF/OIF. In 2004 the Army knew it was a problem so they adopted a universal pattern. It was just the wrong one. Unfortunately, everyone who knew the issues with multiple patterns are gone, so we are going to relearn these same lessons again.

  7. Jumper says:

    Preach it admin!

  8. Bung says:

    It is a bit of a shame that you ask for an end to this by outing me as I was enjoying the verbal ‘milling’ and have gained a lot of insight from the comments posted here. I am sure it’s given your webstats a boots as well!
    Grate for selling advertising space.

    The gist of the argument has been that an Australian designer should have a ‘fair go’ in Australia. If he is not good enough against competition, so be it. But all must have the opportunity to succeed or fail in there own country. It has strayed into a Crye multicam argument and what appears to be a matter of for and against multicam.

    My personal feelings on multicam is it is a good pattern, but Australians can produce a pattern as good or better, and we should not be ignored by our own Govt.

    Do you not feel the same about US products and the US Govt?

    We have the benefit of hindsight gained in the experiences of other nations and the US camo effort, as well as the vagaries and faults of our own system. In short time, this Crye contract will be a senate enquiry here and another nail in the coffin of the current government. With that in mind, why should we repeat the lessons learned by others?

    So who am I? My Name is Damien Ewin, I own a company that deals in the Australian defence industry for the last 11 years.

    I am NOT a rep, a marketing advisor or in any benefit or paid service to any other company. If anything, I have provided some mentoring to Brad Turner of Roggenwolf, however, the effort is pretty much all his, and I do wish him well in his endeavours. If he is not successful on level playing field, then he will just have to try harder.

    I must point out that there has been one gain for me from this. That has been a good and trusting friendship with Brad for the past 6 years. I like trust and I don’t believe that you must behave in an underhanded fashion to be successful in business.

    I also dislike seeing a Mate getting screwed. Don’t you?

    Admin, In the spirit of openness, you should now consider making clear any relationships, friendly or otherwise you have with persons and business mentioned in this thread.

    Well, thanks for the screen time, it has been informative and enlightening!

  9. Administrator says:

    First off, I want to thank you for disclosing your name and interest to the readership. We agree that it is wrong to behave in an underhanded fashion and feel that it was best that you disclose your motivation to the readership so that no one misconstrues the motivation behind a statement. Your actions can have a great deal different weight when you are not personally inconvenienced by a government procurement decision.

    As for our motivations and relationships. We don’t hide anything. Those we have advertising relationships with are openly disclosed on our homepage. What’s more, we have written about numerous camouflage producers, including Roggenwolf who are not advertisers. If you are attempting to intimate that we are shilling for someone here, you are barking up the wrong tree. We do news.

    Now, to clear up a few more issues…

    Initially, you claim that our information had to come from Crye Precision. While we do not disclose sources, we can assure you that this information did not come from Crye or anyone associated with them. In fact, Crye Precision has not commented on this issue and has not answered our inquiries into the matter. Most of the information in our stories about the Australian adoption of MultiCam have come from open source reporting and Government statements.

    It is most unfortunate that your previous comments took to disparaging both Crye Precision and MultiCam. The pattern has been quite successful and we have yet to see any evidence of the folks at Crye uo to no good. A better tack would have been to question why this was not opened to vendors in a full and open competition.

    As for your mate getting “screwed”. We would hardly characterize it that way. Granted, it is ultimately the Government of Australia’s duty to answer for their decision rather than us, but we believe they acted based on use within their own military as well as testing and adoption by two major allies; the UK and US. That alone makes a pretty persuasive argument. Plus, we highly doubt you will hear much complaining from Australian troops about this decision.

    Oddly, based on your line of thinking, Roggenwolf has no business bidding on the US or Polish camo requirements. If a foreign firm shouldn’t get Australian business, why should an Australian business try to nose in on foreign markets? This doesn’t make sense does it?

    We feel that the US military should be fielded the best equipment its Government can afford regardless of country of origin. However, the end product should be produced here. This is precisely what the Australians are doing, no? Putting a license in place to produce the products in Australia?

    Lastly, your comments regarding intellectual property are a bit troubling. Your assertion that the features found in Crye’s uniforms have been available in combat clothing for half a century is false. Prior to 2003, no one had built a uniform like Crye’s. In fact, they have been granted patents protecting these features. The American Army could only be so lucky as to just adopt Crye’s proven design offhand. In our opinion, if the Crye design meets the Australian requirement then the Government of Australia is right in licensing from them.

    To all,

    We love a lively debate of the issues. This entire discourse could have taken an entirely different direction had the participants discussed the real issues here rather than “playa hatin’.”

    Also, please do not hold any comments made in response to this article against Roggenwolf or any other Australian company. That would be unfair. We do understand a certain level of frustration by the Australian defence industry.

  10. John Galt says:

    In the age of globalisation and as a middle power Australia will always have to seek solutions off shore. There’s no shame in buying foreign when the domestic market cant, or won’t try to compete. We need to face facts and realise that the best way to support the war fighter is to either put up, or shut up.
    I have no issues with the commonwealth buying Multicam or a variant thereof. It works in most, but not all, environments that our troops may find themselves. To stick steadfastly to a camouflage that was designed for use in Australia while on operations in far flung corners of the globe because it is ‘Australian’ serves only the ego, not the digger. Conflicts change and so does the mindset that follows. Most of the equipment the ADF uses is bastardisations of Austrian, Israeli, British and American equipment all used under the guise of being ‘Aussie’ made (ever asked a Kiwi what they think of the ADI F88?) so using a ‘foreign’ cam is nothing new.
    I just hope that Crye is able to licence and protect this new pattern as there are some companies out here that are not shy in using fake Multicam sourced from Asia and the passing it off as authentic Multicam.

  11. Australian Citizen says:

    I’m just a member of the Australian public, and I am not a profit earning member of any business or organsiation. While I think MultiCam is an absolutely outstanding camouflage pattern – probably the best “Universal” pattern I’ve yet seen – I strongly agree with the comments made by Bung, show below in quotes. In particular:

    “The gist of the argument has been that an Australian designer should have a ‘fair go’ in Australia. If he is not good enough against competition, so be it. But all must have the opportunity to succeed or fail in there own country. It has strayed into a Crye multicam argument and what appears to be a matter of for and against multicam.

    My personal feelings on multicam is it is a good pattern, but Australians can produce a pattern as good or better, and we should not be ignored by our own Govt.”

    and

    “Lastly, if the US DoD chooses a foreign camo designer, we can sit back and listen to the screams of US designers.”

    The bottom line is that no Australian designers were allowed to participate in the tendering process of any new camouflage patterns, and this is (in my opinion) is an utter disgrace. Had Australian designers eager to participate in the tendering process been allowed to do so, and their design(s) weren’t chosen, then I have no problem with that. But that’s not what’s happened in this case. I am not in any way “anti-American”, but I just don’t like how this process has unfolded.

  12. It’s whether it WORKS or not – not one-upmanship. Who cares if Australians didnt come up with something better than the current Hearts & Bunnies. MultiCam apparently works. Leave it at that. Use it. CRYE PRECISION invented MultiCam. They didn’t do it as a charity or to “mentor” someone else to have a crack at making something better. Why should Australians become all “sour grapes” because someone else supposedly outdid them? WHO CARES. Just buy the bloody MultiCam and implement – if it works. Aussies are a bit like this: can’t stand to be outdid by someone else. It’s a chip on the shoulder from the early days when Australia was a penal colony.

  13. Aus CDM says:

    To my mind as an end user of this pattern, this is a good decision by the Govt (for once). This was driven by the end user and we got what we both wanted and needed. So what if if local industry misses out on its slice of the pie? or we didnt give you the chance to compete? Surely for that to happen it would involve a r&D and trial period, then endless calls for bids etc. (all of which would be finalised sometime in the 5 years after we have left the AO we needed it for having gone over budget and overtime as all local contracts seem too – and we would end up with another useless chimera like ‘Mid point’!) This gets the right gear at the right time to the right people. Part of the deal seems to involve local manufacturing rights anyway. so its not an entire right off for local industry.

    I have seen this pattern in action in Jungle, desert and Australia, our own federal police tac units have been using it for years domestically and OS, it works well wherever I have seen it.

    It works, we need it, we bought it – Dept of Defence procurement – job well done for once.