What is Scorpion? What is Multicam and how did this all happen?Army selects new camo pattern
May. 23, 2014 - 04:32PM |
By Joe Gould
Staff report Army Times
Sources, on condition of anonymity, confirmed Friday that the service has selected Scorpion W2 as its next Army combat uniform camo, a pattern born out of Army Natick labs.
Numerous Army sources refused to comment on this story, expressing reluctance to get ahead of the service’s announcement on an issue that remains under intense Congressional scrutiny.
Military.com broke the news, reporting that Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III has been briefing senior sergeants major throughout the Army about the new pattern for the Army Combat Uniform.
Known internally as Scorpion W2, a source said the pattern is likely to be announced under a different name.
Its color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown resembles MultiCam, the pattern used by soldiers deploying to Afghanistan. However, Scorpion W2 uses fewer beige and brown patches and none of the vertical twig and branch elements later added for MultiCam.
The new pattern will serve as the service’s primary camo pattern, but Army uniform leaders have said they envision a “family” of patterns with a dark jungle-woodland variant and a lighter pattern for desert environs. The main camouflage pattern would be worn in garrison, and the others would go to deploying troops.
Natick derivedScorpion W2 from the original Scorpion pattern developed by Crye Precision, of Brooklyn, N.Y., MultiCam’s manufacturer. Crye officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Crye developed Scorpion under a government contract in 2002, and it was later used for Objective Force Warrior, a soldier systems development program, according to Guy Cramer, CEO of a competing camouflage developer, HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp., of British Columbia.
Cramer said while MultiCam and Scorpion may look similar, he believes MultiCam is better-performing.
The Scorpion W2, according to a source, was among the 22 patterns considered in 2010 when the Army began shopping for new combat uniforms. The Army narrowed that down to four finalists (Scorpion was not among them) and late last year it looked like leaders were nearing a deal with Crye to adopt MultiCam.
But then talks broke down over cost, according to Crye.
The Army’s options are somewhat limited. Congress, in the 2014 Defense Authorization Act, directed the Defense Department to rein in uniform spending and adopt a camouflage utility uniform or family of uniforms across all services. It has forced the Army to take a closer look at existing camouflage patterns — particularly those of its sister services, mainly the woodland and desert versions of the Navy and Marine Corps combat uniforms.
In March, an Army official confirmed the service could experiment with MultiCam colors if desired, noting a company can copyright a pattern but not a color palette.
Col. Robert Mortlock, the program manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, told Army Times at the time that the service examined camo beyond 50 meters and found that, while colors are important, the actual pattern is “not that relevant.
Well we need to hit the Way back machine. Going back to 2002
in 2004 the Us army was working on Land Warrior. The US Army's soldier system, Now most of the Time we Think of Land warrior We Think of the Digital goodies. And the early generations were just that.
Now Land Warrior was a program in three parts. Land Warrior which was meant to be the ready to go version. The second Phase was the "Future Force Warrior" which was a intermediate Technology program. In other words this would be technologies that were not quite ready yet but given a few years. and Finally the 2025 Warrior which is all dream technologies, stuff that might be ready by well 2025.
now in the Future force warrior one of the dreams was a camouflage uniform. The Army wanted to save money and issue a single pattern that could cover as many areas of battle as possible. a Uniform that could be warn in the Artic, the Jungle, the Desert, the beach, the Cities, the Mountains and then some.
And the Winner IS.... or was announced in 2004
All Around Brush
this pattern was the most effective of the Trials. The Third place winner was Scorpion pattern a Joint form Crye Precision and the Natick soldier center the other two rounded it out with a pattern called Urban Track scored the Worst. Universal Camouflage pattern Was not in the trials.
So where did it come form? well Take a look at Urban Track
That's right They used Urbantrack's Color on a Marpat based Screen.
Now a Personal Admission When the Us army First Announced the ACU the much younger more Naive me thought the pattern might be of use or even just be a Urban pattern. I was caught up in it's coolness. then I saw Multicam and though it would be the real pattern of issue. As Time as Gone by I have realized the foolishness of my younger self.
I was not the only one to realize the Folly of there Selection. UCP quickly became recignized as epic Fail even becoming one of the first of the great memes.
In 2009 The Army had a learned the Failings Of UCP. they began experimenting. they started out with a rather simplistic answer add another color.
UCP delta was created by adding Coyote brown to the mix this color was liberally mixed in in hopes that through this impregnation the counselling effects would be bolstered. it did have the desired effect by but only to a limited degree, And Compounding the Army's troubles by this point Congress had stepped in.
The Army decided to move in four parts.
Phase 1 consisted of field testing of Fire resistant uniforms. these were issued to two battalions in a mix of type UCP, UCP-Delta and Multicam.
Phase 2 consisted of expanded trials. with a team infiltrated into Afghanistan to test a series of patterns won on both uniform and Armor. included was UCP, Multicam, UPC Delta with UCP, Mirage ( a commercial pattern)
And Finally AOR-2 (NAvy Work Uniform with Ranger Green armor)
Phase III Expanded on this adding more camouflage types. the Data form this trial concluded that Camouflage types Tailored to there Environment worked the best it also showed that as a Over all Camo Multicam worked well in Afghanistan.
They tested across four terrain types.
In Rocky Desert terrain
1st Place Multicam
2nd Place USMC Woodland MARPAT Digital
3rd Place Woodland Digital
In Mountainous Terrain testing
1st Place Tie Multicam and U.S. Navy AOR-Universal both tested equal
2nd Place Woodland Scorpion
3rd Place U.S. Navy AOR-2
1st Place Woodland Digital
2nd Place U.S. Navy AOR-2
3rd Place USMC Woodland MARPAT Digital
Sandy Desert Terrain tests
1st Place DCU Digital
2nd Place U.S. Navy AOR-1
3rd Place Desert Brush
4th Place USMC Desert MARPAT
Phase VI was begun to down select. the Army started with requirements for each entry form each maker to include three to Four variants One Transitional, One Woodland, One Desert and one optional for personal equipment.
The Goverment originally offered a number of patterns it owned but in the end withdrew them in favor of four commercial patterns. Four Entries were Down selected. These Entries were
ADS/Hyper stealth who was the only entry to take the Personal Equipment option,
The Army down selected to Crye precision. However The army wanted to own the pattern. They belived that the material printers were over charging them and thought that they could save some money by buying out Crye precision. Crye had already licensed and sold the rights to any number of makers and nations for there national use, And Crye reasoned that the additional costs would not disappear and over the long run Crye needed it's cash cow. Negotiations broke down.
The Army stopped talking and then today they started whispering. And a ghost form the past returned,