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Posts Tagged ‘PECOC’

The Mk 7 Helmet, Up Close and Personal

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

US manufacturer Wilcox Industries had a brand new British AC900/600 helmet on display at AUSA. The AC900/600 has been designated as the Mk 7 for use as an interim measure while PECOC refines development of an entirely new suite of individual equipment for the British Tommie. You can see from the display the full advantage of the scalloped brim when used with Night Vision Systems. This was one of the driving reasons behind the interim adoption of modified variant of the AC900/600 helmet worn by UKSF on CT role. Wilcox had the helmet due to a recent development effort in support of the MoD. This also demonstrates Wilcox’s excellent capability to integrate seemingly disparate systems into a cohesive capability in rapid order.

British Mark 7 Helmet

Syrian Camo?

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

*Soldier Systems Daily Exclusive*

We received an excerpt of the 2009 Natick report “PHOTOSIMULATION CAMOUFLAGE DETECTION TEST” in order to determine the origin of the so-called “Syrian” pattern.

The internet has been aflame with concern and indignation that a “Syrian” camouflage pattern is out performing UCP. Still others have taken recent articles printed on other websites as an indication that the Army is considering this pattern for issue but nothing could be further from the truth.

In an effort of clearing the air, Soldier Systems Daily offers these quotes taken directly from the report followed by some analysis. A couple of tidbits from the report:

“Eighteen patterns were included in the imagery collection and observer data collection.

Guidance for pattern selection was given by BG Brown, PEO-Soldier in March 2007. Guidance included patterns of foreign countries, patterns presently available on the commercial market and the UCP. Final pattern selection was controlled by pattern availability. The Woodland and Desert Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU) were not included in this evaluation because, at the time of pattern selection, they were not being worn by the U.S. Army.

All targets wore desert combat boots and a green Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH). Helmet covers were not worn because of the lack of availability of covers for most patterns. Deployment and training schedules limited the availability of observers during the short data collection period. Therefore, to focus data collection on the patterns of greatest interest, the patterns were prioritized into two tiers. When a complete data set was collected on the Tier 1 patterns, which are annotated in Figures 6-10 with an asterisk, observer data collection then began on the Tier 2 patterns.

Although detection data were collected on 18 patterns, five patterns (i.e., Sweden, Spec4 Woodland, Spec4 Urban, North Korea, and Woodland British) were eliminated from the final data analysis. The two Spec4 patterns were not available for desert image collection; therefore, they did not have a complete data set. Sweden, North Korea and Woodland British were eliminated, due to being the worst performers in two out of the three environments. Their similarity to other woodland patterns was further justification, although it must be noted that detection data are available for further analysis, if desired.”

“Given these environment-specific results, five patterns consistently performed better than UCP – Syria, Desert MARPAT, Desert Brush, MultiCam®, and Natural Gear.

Although the performance of the Natural Gear pattern was consistently better than UCP, it is not a viable pattern to consider for possible near-term military use because it does not have military near-infrared properties and the Government has no rights to the pattern. Natural Gear was also the lowest performer of this group of five patterns. Therefore, further discussion is focused on the remaining four uniforms – Desert MARPAT, Desert Brush, MultiCam® and Syria. Syria, although a foreign uniform and not practical for U.S. military use, yielded very favorable results in the environments tested and may be useful in future research on pattern / color effectiveness in multiple environments.
italics added for emphasis (mine)

As you can see from the study, the now infamous “Syrian” pattern is not under consideration for issue to US troops but rather considered a “lab pet” to be used during future camouflage study.

syrian-camo

This is the photograph of the “Syrian” camo from the Natick report. Unfortunately, we still do not know the true origin of this pattern. International camouflage experts have reviewed that photo and determined that it is not on general issue to Syrian forces. Furthermore, it has been suggested that it closely resembles the German Sumpfmuster (Marsh Pattern) issued to the Bundes Grenz Schutz from the late 50s on. This pattern in particular was based on a WW II German Army Marsh pattern and has been also worn by the Libyan military.

Notice that “British Woodland”, beloved Temperate DPM was eliminated due to being among the worst performers in the study but on the flip side, Desert DPM fared pretty well. Interestingly, this will be very big news across the pond as the British military struggles with PECOC and their efforts to field a more effective pattern for operations in the Middle East.

UK Releases New Helmet and Armor

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The enhanced Mark 7 helmet and Osprey Assault body armor, which will provide equivalent ballistic protection to current systems but with a lighter weight and an improved fit were unveiled at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) equipment show this week in Millbrook.

UK enhanced Mark 7 helmet and Osprey Assault body armour

The MOD has ordered over 10,000 sets of the new helmets and armor under initial contracts worth £16m, with companies including NP Aerospace, Morgan Armour Ltd, Aegis Engineering Ltd, Seyntex and Solo International Ltd. The 10,000 sets are reported to go to Infantry, Engineers, and medical with all other general purpose forces retaining the Mk6a helmet and current Osprey armor.

UK enhanced Mark 7 helmet and Osprey Assault body armour - Rear

Just as in the case of the MICH becoming the general issue ACH here in the US, the new Mk 7 is a variant of the AC900/600 helmet worn by UKSF on CT role. Of further evidence of SOF influence over kit design, the new armor carrier is supplied by Solo International located near Hereford, home of the British SAS. However, based on information we have received in the past we do not believe that this new equipment is a part of the PECOC program but rather an interim solution to solve an urgent operation requirement. This would also account for the relatively small procurement.

The new Mk 7 helmet features a four point chin strap for enhanced stability, particularly while wearing helmet mounted night vision devices. Additionally, the front lip has been cut back in order to increase visibility while in the prone and is reported to include configurable pads like the US ACH.

While we did say that the new Osprey carrier is being supplied by Solo International, it is interesting to note that they outsource their manufacture. Additionally, the UK does not have an equivalent of the Berry Amendment to ensure domestic production of defense textile articles so at this point we are unsure where the carriers will actually be produced. In addition to the carrier, a new, lighter armor plate is reported to be on it’s way to the troops.

Pictures: Andrew Linnett, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009

Latest PECOC News

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Moving in a new direction from past policy of issuing two identical jackets, plans for the new PECOC clothing systems call for issue two different garments. The reasoning is simple. During the Cold War, conventional wisdom held that the Soldier would be without resupply or laundry services for long periods of time so redundant clothing made sense. But current operations call for access to support services and more flexibility for the individual Soldier.

Both jackets will outwardly appear the same but will differ by insulation and the inclusion of pit zips. Please note that these are not official names and are only used to describe the two versions.

Standard Temperate Field Jacket Based on an upgraded version of the SF Tantalus system (which features a mesh drop liner in order to maintain an air gap between the outer material and the wearer for insulative purposes). Normal features of quick drying, IRR compliant, map pockets, compass holder, wired hood. etc etc. For field operations inside the UK the Jacket is well suited for 6 months of the year or for high activity levels. They have chosen to maintain the chest pockets even though they are not well suited for armor use as they are very useful for wear without armor. Although the garment is “shower proof” it is designed to integrate with the lightweight waterproof. Interestingly, the lightweight waterproof jacket does not have chest mounted pockets for improved interface with armor.

Encapsulated Field Jacket It is similar to the Filed Jacket but includes a wind proof and waterproof liner so does not need to interface with the lightweight waterproof. It is intended for static duties, range days, cold environments, etc.

The intent is to provide the Soldier with the right garment for the right application. No longer will the British Soldier have to wear a compromise that is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

Additionally, for hot climates there is also the new jacket lightweight (shirt) and UBACS which is similar to the US Army Advanced Combat Shirt.

Additional clothing system components include a buffalo jacket, softie jacket, thermal underwear, t-shirt, and an improved “Norgie”.

More PECOC Photos

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

As the MoD’s PECOC comes closer to reality, we continue to find additional details and photos.

PECOC
Note that the helmet depicted is a ver 1 helmet and the current ver 3 helmets provide more coverage.

PECOC

PECOC Update

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Here are some more photos from the UK MoD showing the details of the PECOC trials ensembles.

PECOC

PECOC

More on British PECOC Program

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

The British Army has released additional photos of PECOC equipment and trial camouflage patterns. We will be posting them over the next week.

Hybrid Camo Pattern Developed for British PECOC Program
The New Hybrid Camo developed for PECOC.

PECOC Prototype Webbing
Prototype Webbing showing different options including fasteners and tape.

Photos from MOD.

PECOC Update

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Recently some photos of PECOC trials webbing appeared on the net. MOD still has not settled on a camo scheme but the Hybrid Cam for load carriage seems to be catching on. In fact, as you will see in the photos, the actual nylon webbing is in the pattern and there are plans to offer camo buckles and Hypalon as well.

On the load carriage side, there are currently 14 MOLLE-style (yes, we said MOLLE) pouches associated with the PECOC program in addition to a new set of webbing, assault vest, patrol sack, rucksack (bergan), plate carrier, and armor vest. The armor vest has been slimmed down a bit from the current Osprey design in order to improve the agility of the wearer. However, an improved Osprey is in the works for use when there is a need to go in heavy.

PECOC Assault Vest

One of the most interesting features on the assault vest is the use of Hypalon. This can be seen in the photo as Black surfaces. Non-skid has been in use for some time on the shoulders of vest in order to “lock” the buttstock in place. However, the concept’s application in PECOC goes one step further. Hypalon is also sewn to the underside of straps in order to provide improved purchase. Additionally, a large MOLLE grid is supplied in order to customize the vest.

PECOC Webbing

Similar to the current Soldier 95 webbing, the new PECOC variant relies on a “Hippo” padded belt as a foundation. Added to this is a yoke with Hypalon patches on the shoulders and a family of pockets. One item still requires some additional development and that is the closure system for the pouches. Apparently, they are having difficulty establishing a consensus on which style is preferable.