Blackhawk!

Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Looks To Be On Track

Yesterday, the Army released a pre-solicitation called simply, “Camouflage Fabric.”

The contents are simple. Notice, the “pattern will be provided” provision. This and the three different patterns on NY/CO with a fourth on 500D Cordura indicate that the pattern down-select is moving right along and the Army is preparing for the next testing phase.

LI 001, 1000 yds of camouflage pattern A (TBD)printed on 50/50 nylon/cotton fabric that meets visual and Infrared. Pattern will be provided., 1000, YD;
LI 002, 1000 yds of camouflage pattern B (TBD)printed on 50/50 nylon/cotton fabric that meets visual and Infrared. Pattern will be provided., 1000, YD;
LI 003, 1000 yds of camouflage pattern C (TBD)printed on 50/50 nylon/cotton fabric that meets visual and Infrared. Pattern will be provided., 1000, YD;
LI 004, 1000 yds of camouflage pattern D (TBD)printed on 500 Denier Nylon Cordura fabric that meets visual and Infrared. Pattern will be provided., 1000, YD;

Unfortunately, this is a “Reverse Auction.” Great for known commodities, not so great for new developments. Printing new camo patterns is in the realm of new developments. No one has probably printed these patterns before and it will take some time to get them to render properly. It becomes even more difficult when there is more than one substrate. Different fabrics absorb inks differently. I foresee a lot of developmental work to get these patterns right, so that they will get a fair shake during the testing phase. I hope no one loses their shorts on this one.

7 Responses to “Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Looks To Be On Track”

  1. FormerDirtDart says:

    This seems to me to be the Army printing one of the government “family of patterns” that has met the photo simulation down-select threshold. The commercial participants were required to supply their own fabric and findings with their submissions.

  2. Administrator says:

    No, not until the after the down select.

  3. straps says:

    No information on number of colors and presence/absense of gradient screens? Or is 6x color with at least 2x screens now the presumed standard?

  4. Strike-Hold! says:

    It would be nice to see a revised timeline for the whole program now, since the RFP submission deadline was pushed back by several months…. Presumably, everything else has been too?

  5. FormerDirtDart says:

    I’ll take your word Admin. Being just an overly interested casual observer, I certainly didn’t read the entire solicitation, and only breezed through the Q&A articles you posted.
    But, obviously, the government won’t be printing commercial participants patterns during, at least, the early stages of the evaluation. It would be to easy for rejected parties to challenge the selection process.

  6. Administrator says:

    Nothing is printed until the down select.

    Who knows what the patterns will look like and how many colors/screens. This is why a reverse auction is the wrong type of solicitation.

    Issues with printing Air Force Digital Tigerstripe almost put Bradford out of business.

  7. Administrator says:

    I received an email stating that this might be a move by the KO to get an azimuth check on the costs supplied by offerors in their proposals. Possibly, but the KO stipulated it would be a reverse auction, which is a bit specific.