TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Rumor Mill’ Category

Rumor Has It – MR223

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Rumor has it that the HK MR223 introduced last year in Germany last year will finally be released here in the US after SHOT show. Apparently, there have been some ATF issues that have delayed importation of what many feel is the holy grail of HKdom.

The MR223 from H&K

However, the biggest news is that the US version will not feature the offset rear take down found on the European rifles. This means that American enthusiasts will be able to use HK416-style uppers with any Mil Spec lower receiver.

HK416 Sub-Compact Carbine

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

HK416 Sub Carbine from the firearms blog

The Firearms Blog published what may be the only pictures floating around of HK’s 416 Sub-Compact Carbine. It was not displayed at this week’s AUSA annual meeting and rumor has it that was developed specifically for a British requirement. This is why it was only shown at DSEi and to little fanfare. Furthermore, it is entirely a developmental project and only a few are being hand fitted for the customer.

More on PCU Level 9 – Well Sorta

Friday, September 11th, 2009

*Updated* I received a call the other day asking of I had seen the new Patagonia Combat Uniforms. I hadn’t and the last word I had received was that Patagonia was out of the contract game. But just when you think Patagonia has called it quits, they up and release new military products. Apparently, some prototypes of a hard shell were produced in Viet Nam and photos of this garment’s tag have shown up on the web incorrectly purporting to be from a Level 9 garment. But really this is just the tip of the iceberg. The plan is to develop an entirely new Berry compliant clothing system and most of it is already done. Apparently however, the combat uniform piece is still in development and won’t be the same as the PCU Level 9. The whole system is sort of a “Son of MARS” only leveraging the latest Patagonia technology. Prototypes of several of the pieces are floating around some of the units already so it won’t be long before we see photos.

Patagonia did participate in the development of the Level 9 component of PCU which is produced under contract by Ready One. Thus far, all currently issued PCU components carry a Patagonia tag and the new Level 9 garment will as well. Commercial versions of Level 9 are currently available from Beyond Tactical.

We are hoping to see photos soon and wondering how much they will go for once they hit eBay.

Thanks to Rob for confusing the hell out of me.

NVG Mount Lights

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

According to Ops-Core, several companies are working on lights designed to attach directly to a helmet’s NVG mount. None of the lights are quite ready for prime-time but we were able to sneak a picture of one example at the recent ADS Warrior Expo.

NVG Mounted Light

Camo Rumors

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

In light of an impending directive from Congress to the Army to get their camo house in order, rumors continue to circulate about an upcoming test involving four camo patterns with the Army’s current Universal Camouflage pattern serving as a control.

The four patterns are MARPAT-Woodland, MARPAT-Desert, Multicam, and Desert All Over Brush (seen below). Originally, we had heard that the fourth pattern would be the 3-color Desert pattern issued to all services prior to adoption of their new distinctive uniforms. However, based on some recent, unverified information we believe it is actually the Desert All Over Brush which interestingly gave a very good showing during the Army camo trials of 2003-2004. According to a Natick report, a modified variant of the Desert version All Over Bush pattern performed best in all environments. You can also access a briefing presented on the subject at the 2004 International Soldier Systems Conference here.

Rumored Trials Patterns

Based on a series of evaluations documented in the report and briefing slides Natick developed the variant of All Over Brush pattern.

desert brush variant 3

Having said all of that, the info on that particular pattern is old news. At some point in the Spring of 2004, the Army took a serious sidestep from all of its research and adopted UCP. if the rumors are true, looking at what is on the table, neither Marine patterns would really be considered serious candidates due to a variety of morale, and as we have discussed before, branding issues. You think the black beret issue was rough, imagine the outcry from two services if the Army adopted a Marine camo pattern. Consequently, while effective, we don’t consider the MARPAT variants as serious contenders. This leaves, depending on who is telling the story, either 3-color Desert which is still used by some US Navy forces (and a few others) or the prototype Desert All Over brush pattern in addition to Crye’s Multicam. While there are limited stocks of 3-color equipment still in the system, virtually none of it is in the configuration currently used by US forces. If it were adopted, the US Soldier would literally take a five year step back in capability until production of current issue equipment could be accomplished. Additionally, there is a political dimension to such a move. UCP was sold as a superior pattern to both Woodland and 3-Color Desert. Someone would naturally ask the question of why the Army discarded a pattern in favor of something less effective.

Multicam in Afghanistan

This leaves Desert All Over Brush and Multicam. Multicam has been used operationally by select US forces to great success and even more importantly, is currently supported by the US industrial base. A wide variety of Berry Compliant products (and raw materials) are available as COTS items. Additionally, industry already offers versions of current issue equipment in Multicam. Furthermore, there are numerous lightweight and multi-purpose Soldier Systems items designed specifically for environments like Afghanistan. Multicam is a mature, widely available, low hanging fruit. On the other hand, adoption of Desert All Over Brush would require long lead times as fabric mills first perfect and then produce sufficient quantities of materials. Only then could uniforms and equipment for our Soldiers begin to be procured.

We are waiting with bated breath to see if these rumors are true and what’s more, if they are, what will come of them. Naturally, Soldier Systems Daily will keep you updated.

Missed it by THAT much

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Rumors began to swirl that Director James Cameron was strutting around the set of “Avatar” sporting Hyde Definition’s new PenCott camo pattern. Alas, it was not to be, but it does make for an interesting story.

Director James Cameron in his mystery pants
Photo Copyright: Empire magazine

Read the whole tale at The Camo Side of Dominic Hyde.

Camo Rumors – Some Observations

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Ever since Congress told the Army that the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) used on the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) wasn’t cutting it in Afghanistan, rumors and just plain old bad info has been swirling about the internet so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the subject.

Urban Legend 1 -Multicam Uber Alles. Despite internet hype and the military version of an urban legend, Multicam is not replacing UCP in 2011 or 2012. As best I can tell this rumor came about because the Future Force Warrior program was supposed to be fielded in, you guessed it, 2011. It so happens that all of the photos of guys suited up in the FFW garb were swathed in Multicam goodness. For some odd reason, folks couldn’t divorce the concept of FFW from Multicam. Hence the urban legend. Naturally, this new round of Congressionally driven controversy has only fanned the flames of this untruth. Think about it. The Army just spent a gazillion dollars changing everything to UCP. In fact, fielding isn’t even complete. So ask yourself this question. Why would the Army spend a “gazillion” dollars on a new camo pattern and turn right around a field a new one mid-stream? The answer? It wouldn’t. They want to buy FCS not new uniforms.

Urban Legend 2 – UCP is going away completely. It isn’t. The Congressional “suggestion” is only for forces in Afghanistan not the whole shebang.

Urban Legend 3 – The Marine Corps offered MARPAT to the Army and they turned it down. Total Fantasy. Here is a truth. These patterns are about branding. When you see MARPAT, you think “Marine”. When you see UCP you think “Soldier”. MARPAT was developed for the Marine Corps. General Jones, former Commandant of the Marine Corps wanted a uniform that would let his enemies know when Marines were in town. He got one.

Urban Legend 4 – The Army didn’t adopt Multicam because they would have to pay a license for Multicam / it was too expensive. Once again; False. The Army helped pay for the development of Multicam. There is no “license”. Also, the more Multicam printed, the cheaper it gets. The more you buy, the less you pay.

desert brush variant 3

I feel for the Army. What a big poop sandwich. “Hey Army, UCP stinks, issue something else. But use the money we already gave you for OTHER stuff.” You can’t just change out uniforms. You have to replace all of the Soldier’s other kit as well or the contrast will just highlight the guy. So the Army is going to have to compute this huge cost for one theater. That was the point of UCP in the first place. One camo…universal. No more issuing two different patterns to guys…economize.

I feel even worse for the poor action officer at PEO-Soldier who has to develop the decision brief on this one. For example:
COA 1 – Do nothing…Tell Congress “Nuts”, I mean after all, UCP does work in some parts of Afghanistan.
COA 2 – Do Nothing…Beg Congress for cash
COA 3 – Stall…conduct study (Attn PEO-Soldier, I am available for contract to conduct said study)
COA 4 – Issue Woodland or Three-Color Desert
COA 5 – Adopt all new pattern – See pic above

Option 5? That is the fantasy option. Or is it? There are select US forces rocking Multicam all over the place. Oddly enough, so are Snipers. Aside from that, the Army spent a great deal of time and effort developing and testing several patterns any of which could be dusted off including the one in the photo.

However, I am voting for some combo of one or more of the first three with COA 4 as the ultimate outcome. There is already precedence with the Army’s G1 permitting USASOC forces to wear Woodland camo. Plus, there are stock of the older patterns that can be drawn from to get this thing rolling.

Do we love Multicam at Soldier Systems Daily? You’re damned right we do. Will it be adopted for use in Afghanistan? Who knows at this point, but it sure will be interesting watching whatever ultimately happens.