Security Scholar, an Australian defense blog has been keeping tabs on the Australian adoption of Crye Precision’s technology in the form of uniform designs (Operational Combat Uniform) and the adaption of the MultiCam pattern for their use in a similar fashion to the British Multi Terrain Pattern. As you will recall, MTP is a melding of Crye’s technology with the long-serving Woodland Disruptive Pattern Material design.
Photo: Commonwealth of Australia, 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit, PO Damian Pawlenko
We can verify that the new Australian MultiCam Pattern will, just like the original use 7 layers of color and that Black is not one of them. Testing has shown these colors to work well in the homeland.
Last month, the Crye issue became politicized in Australia when the opposition party tried to make so much hay out of reports from troops deployed in Afghanistan that their OCUs were falling apart. One politico even went so far as to make the outrageous claim that if the uniforms had been manufactured by an Australian company rather than an American one they would not have been “shoddy.” While the intent was ridiculous, he may have been right considering that, previous uniforms were not FR at all. Now, for the first time, Australian ground troops have FR protection with the Crye uniforms and are better protected. Unfortunately, that is also the culprit behind the prematurely worn uniforms. It seems, the Australians specified an older blend of TenCate’s Defender-M fabric. A newer version with twice the tear strength has been in use by the US Marine Corps for well over a year and for the last few months by the US Army. Hopefully, the Australians will transition to the new fabric. However, according to the Security Scholar report, “Army Headquarters has tasked the Defence Science and Technology Organisation to analyse the use of flame retardant materials in combat uniforms to determine if there is an operational need for these types of fabrics.” At this point, the Australians aren’t even sure if they want their troops to have FR protection.
Read the securityscholar.wordpress.com report to learn more.