The new Army camouflage pattern was unveiled this week and will be available for sale in the summer of 2015. The new pattern, called the Operational Camouflage Pattern, has a color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.
The new camo will be transitioned to over time, and the Army will phase out its unpopular gray-green Universal Combat Pattern, reports USA Today. The current pattern was criticized by soldiers who claimed it did not help them hide in a combat environment. In a statement, the Army explained that the phase-0ut of the older uniform is “fiscally responsible.”
The name “Operational Camouflage Pattern” replaces the testing name of Scorpion W2. The pattern’s use is meant to extend beyond Afghanistan to all combatant commands and will also be worn in garrison. Still, leaders have added it will be one part of a “family” of camo patterns that also include a dark jungle-woodland variant and a lighter pattern for desert environments
A statement from the U.S. Army added, “The Army has confirmed through testing that [the pattern] would offer exceptional concealment, which directly enhances force protection and survivability for soldiers.”
Stripes notes that the new Army camouflage pattern is said to be similar to the MultiCam pattern, which was the standard for troops deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. MultiCam is owned by Crye Precision, the company that developed the Scorpion pattern for the Army more than a decade ago.
The Operational Camouflage Pattern was designed by Army Natick Labs in Massachusetts and will be free to use. News of the new pattern leaked in May, but no Army spokesperson confirmed the new pattern until this week.
Along with waiting for uniforms to wear out before replacing them, the Army is also seeking to save money by retaining wearable items in the UCP and dying them coyote brown. The Army wants to over-dye existing Modular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment and Improved Outer Tactical Vests that are in the UCP pattern to create a darker color matching coyote brown.
The Army’s program manager for soldier equipment posted a solicitation June 20 for industry partners that can over-dye nylon, cotton, and rayon fabrics for industrial purposes. To perform the work, the Army solicitation requests portable technologies that can be used outside the manufacturing environment, suggesting it wants to save the cost of sending the equipment to manufacturers.
Since the new Army camouflage pattern is being phased in as current uniforms wear out, it could take a few years before all soldiers are equipped with it.
[Image: Soldier Systems]