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Army Announces Camouflage Improvement Effort Finalists

After several delays, the Army has chosen four finalists in their Army Camouflage Improvement Effort. The Army conducted an exhaustive down select using a picture-in-picture technique with 900 Soldiers viewing the patterns in 45 environments. There was a candidate pool of around 20 families of patterns each sharing common pattern geometries but with individual colorways for Woodland, Desert, and Transitional environments with a possible fourth pattern for Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment. This optional OCIE pattern would blend in with the other patterns so that separate sets of PPE would not have to be purchased to match each pattern. Some developers satisfied this requirement with their Transitional pattern.

The finalists are:
ADS Inc as Prime, partnered with Guy Cramer
Brookwood Companies
Crye Precision
Kryptek

(Please note that the contract award figures are ceiling amounts. Total funds will not be awarded unless all contract options are enacted. The disparity in award amounts is driven by offeror bids and is for the total non-exclusive Government license if the vendor is selected and optioned as the new Army camouflage provider.)

Additionally, there will be an Army developed family of patterns entering the field trials which should commence in about 6 months according to the plans overall timeline which has already slipped several times.

This next set of testing will include blending tests, probability of detection, and a live Developmental Test with an Operational Test flair. This latter event will put the patterns through their paces with squad size elements pitted against multiple observers from numerous points of view. Another interesting aspect of this testing is that the Army will also assess how long it takes for an observer to reacquire a test subject after he takes cover and comes back into view. During the industry day, there was an indication that they may also assess the pattern’s performance in both dry and wet conditions. This was a major issue during the development of the AOR patterns so we hope they integrate it into the test plan.

We’ve also heard that the candidate patterns may also be evaluated using OCP (MultiCam) PPE since the Army has made such a large investment in this equipment and it may well have to continue to serve, at least with some units as long it remains serviceable. The interest is to see if OCP equipment can be effectively used in conjunction with the new patterns. Testing of varied PPE against unmatched uniforms in Afghanistan indicated that the contrast can be so great as to work against the camouflage effect.

After the testing ends, a finalized report will be presented to the Army leadership for action. Based on a variety of factors, they will decide how the Army will be camouflaged in the foreseeable future. We also hope that the other services consider the investment the Army has made in this process and make this a joint effort.

SSD applauds the selectees and the Army’s PEO Soldier and RDT&E community for taking on this herculean effort.

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43 Responses to “Army Announces Camouflage Improvement Effort Finalists”

  1. Strike-Hold! says:

    So, no images of what these whizz-bang patterns actually look like then?

  2. Aaron says:

    No joke I want Hyde Definition…I don’t want anything from Guy Cramer. Kind of had a suspicion that Crye would jump on this, good to see they have, can’t wait to see their offering.

    Brookwood and Kryptek I definitely feel blind to.

  3. CAVstrong says:

    Kryptek makes that leaf stuff. You can find pictures of it on the interwebs…its really weird looking….

    I wanna see what crye submitted. If I had to place a bet my money would be on Crye getting chosen. With the popularity of Multicam if they developed variants for temperate and arid environments and maybe a couple others that works well with multicam I can see the Army jumping all over that.

    (for anyone who follows this blog) please pot links to pictures of the various patterns if you find any.

    I also wonder what the army’s self developed pattern is?

    Would have liked to see Land Camo they have some interesting patterns.

    • Strike-Hold! says:

      Well, PEO-Soldier now says that they have to be unique patterns that aren’t already commercially available – so it will be interesting to see how they allow MultiCam to be in the race on that basis…

      • SSD says:

        OCP is a baseline pattern. The Crye submission would have to be something new anyway in order to satisfy the multiple pattern requirement.

      • FormerDirtDart says:

        I think you can assume Crye modified MultiCam for their submission (as the transitional pattern), Technically they could submit something close to MTP, since it is not commercially available (to my knowledge).

        I’m very curious to see what Brookwood came up with, and whether they developed it in-house or brought in/acquired someone else. (like the ADS-Cramer combination)

  4. CAVstrong says:

    Also Im not trying to be a jerk but can someone explain to me how Kyrptek’s lead pattern is supposed to work. It seems to unnatural to me to be effective.

    Sorry Im a bit of a gear geek and have been kind of obsessing about this since I first heard of it.

  5. Swiat34 says:

    I sure as HELL hope the Marine Corps doesn’t adopt whatever the Army does in a ‘joint effort.’ I would HATE to have to buy 6 sets I uniforms and 2 pairs of boots and covers and boonies AGAIN. I didn’t get any extra uniform allowance to buy the damned digis when they came out and I KNOW they ain’t paying anything extra to get yet ANOTHER new uniform. You buy a uniform and a pair of boots and exceed your uniform allowance for the YEAR. I’m down with my Corps sticking with the Marpat/Coyote combination as long as possible…they’re good patterns anyway!

    • Johnny B says:

      I dont think you have much to worry about. The Corps takes pride in doing their own thing with their own limited resources; you know that. Marpat/destert marpat are outstanding designs – I’d stay there.

    • straps says:

      Yeah you guys pretty much got it right the first time. As distinct from Army, to be sure, the Corps can stand on logic and say that there is no benefit and no economy to be achieved by migrating to a new color scheme.

  6. CAVstrong says:

    When it says ads inc as prime…does that meam theyre the top finalist?

    • Strike-Hold! says:

      No, that means they are the primary contract holder (for this phase of the development) – with Guy Cramer as a sub-contractor working under them.

  7. Ken Fischer says:

    Truely ARPAT was a rush job after MARPAT. In reality it was criminal on both the civilian and military leadership that ARPAT was chosen over the Multicam/Scorpian pattern and all the services have their own pattern. Now the UK, Australia and Norway have adopted multicam. It is amazing that we are reinventing the wheel and no one has been held accountable. Adopt multicam and put this to rest.

    • Riceball says:

      FYI, it’s not ARPAT, the official/real name is UCP for Universal Camouflage Pattern which makes the pattern even more of a joke since it’s hardly universal.

    • scott says:

      Australia is only using Multicam for troops deployed outside the wire in Afghanistan. There are no plans for Multicam to replace the current DPCU.

      However, in saying that, the DoD has entered into a contract with Crye to develop a new cam pattern for Australia to replace DPCU.

  8. ODG says:

    I am going to just take a wild ass guess here and say Crye Precision wins it….it would be best value for the government since multicam is already being fielded, and the troops already love it. It’s a win/win. Congrats and good luck to the finalists.

  9. Ken says:

    Honestly, I don’t really care anymore. Adopt a olive drab polk-a-dot outfit with a rooster mask and I’ll go operate.

  10. OmegaDR says:

    This has to be the single greatest waste of taxpayers money in years. Just adopt the Marine Corp MARPAT desert and woodland, and be done with it. This is ignorant,

    • Riceball says:

      They can’t, MARPAT, in case you didn’t realize it, is copyrighted by the Marine Corps so nobody can use it without their express permission. What’s more, the copyright isn’t simply some court filing; MARPAT (both desert & woodland) have tiny little EGAs (Eagle, Globe, & Anchor, they symbol of the Marine Corps) embedded throughout the pattern. I can’t imagine that any self respecting soldier would like wearing a uniform that has EGAs all throughout it, nor would the Army brass’ egos allow them to adopt a Marine pattern, especially when it’s always been the reverse in the past.

      • TM says:

        Weren’t the Marines wearing woodland before the Army?

        Anyways, I’m from Fairbanks so I’m rooting for Kryptek (they’ll never win though).

        • OmegaDR says:

          No one said wear their exact MARPAT uniform, braintrust. It would be that difficult to receive authorization from the corp and MODIFY the pattern to suit the ARMY. Remove the EGA, and make it in the current ACU style. With so many Armies running around in similar digital cammies, there’s a good argument to put our forces BACK in the same camo pattern. it was a bonehead ideal to put each service in different uniforms in the first place.

        • Greg says:

          The 82nd, 173rd Airborne Brigades as well as some of the Corps divisions wore the same camo at first so it was a real “joint” effort back then, however the marines got tired of waiting for the army to join them in the quest for a new camo or they simply just didn’t care about their Army cousins and went ahead. And boom we got MARPAT years later bam we got shitty grey-green blocks.

      • mcantu says:

        MARPAT is not copyrighted…its patented. the govt cannot copyright things created with public funds. the patent on MARPAT however, runs out in 3-4 years, iirc. it will be interesting to see what happens then

  11. Greg says:

    Probably no need for a camo just for gear when already alot is being spent for the uniform patterns itself, plus crye has killed UCP in terms of both uniform blending and gear so we can simply choose the winning patterns and utilize multi-cam for gear, webbing and all sorts of stuff.

  12. Greg says:

    And on top of that an Army developed family of patterns… so long as its not a single color PATT and is more of an open minded one then by all means they are welcome just don’t foul it up this time Big A.

  13. Greg says:

    ADS – One arid version from a different family, version D “met or surpassed” but not the others? not including the testing version A.
    Kryptec – Looks too good and might mean a fashion show witch the Army is trying to avoid.
    Crye – Do they have Woodland or Arid MC? if so that would really be something to see.
    Brookwood – Im not too familiar with them yet, need more info on them.

  14. Chief says:

    I am leaning with ADS because their patterns have the same effect as the Marine Corps; looks similars to there without stepping on their patent. So get those and keep Multi-cam as the OEF pattern. Get rid of that one pattern for all mindset.

    ads-unveils-army-camouflage-finalist-patterns

  15. Chief says:

    I am leaning with ADS because their patterns have the same effect as the Marine Corps; looks similars to theirs without stepping on their patent. So get those and keep Multi-cam as the OEF pattern. Get rid of that one pattern for all mindset.

    http://soldiersystems.net/2012/02/14/ads-unveils-army-camouflage-finalist-patterns/