digital design is new special operations camo

18 05 2009

In a follow up to a story I linked to earlier this year about an unusual camouflage pattern being worn by some US Navy SEALs (special operations forces), the Soldier Systems blog has acquired some information from the Advance Planning Brief for Industry (APBI) held recently in Springfield, VA. Apparently

the Program Manager for SOF Survival, Support, and Equipment Systems announced that two camouflage patterns known as AOR1 (Desert) and AOR2 (Wooded) would be transitioned in SOF and that certain contracted systems in Khaki and Ranger Green would move to the new color schemes.

These are digital camouflage schemes not dissimilar to the camouflage already issued to the US Marine Corps (Woodland MARPAT and Desert MARPAT). Some kit and clothing has already been manufactured for trials by Beyond Tactical, London Bridge Trading (LBT) and Eagle Industries, and at one point LBT had swatches of the colour ways on their website. What the announcement seems to be saying, however, is that the camouflage is not going to be limited solely to Naval Special Warfare personnel, as had previously been thought, but is for all units operating under USSOCOM (United States Special Operations Command).

Image from LBT website

Image from LBT website

AOR2 with a vertical under different lighting conditions

Trial version (?) of AOR2 (thanks to Legit Kit NSW) with vertical alignment. Note different lighting conditions affect perceived colour.

Image from LBT website

Image from LBT website




5 responses

18 05 2009

AOR2 looks a lot like CADPAT/MARPAT with Multicam colours. The dark brown instead of black should be better in Infra Red.

18 05 2009

It’s a tricky one to pin down, Allan. Without seeing it in person, or seeing a lot more photos of it, I wouldn’t like to judge what the colours are like. However, whether there is black or not is irrelevant with respect to infra red observation, as modern pigment additives can make any colours appear dark or pale under a black light, according to the designer’s wishes. DPM. for instance, has four colours, but they appear as just two contrasting shades under NIR light. The tricky part is maintaining contrast between four colours through night observation devices, without the lightest shade appearing too light. At least a seven percent difference in spectral reflectance values is necessary to create this contrast, with the darkest colour reflecting less than 10% and the lightest no more than 60 – 70%. The Mod clearly opted to reduce the brown and black to the same low levels of NIR reflectance, and create a common high reflectance measurement for the green and khaki colours.

19 05 2009

The AOR patterns are basically the Woodland and Desert versions of MARPAT without the embedded EGA logo. Once again it appears that Truth is less spectacular than speculation and rumour….

The really interesting stuff will be the next generation after MARPAT and UCP. 😉

4 08 2009

very cool website, nice to see someone who seriously knows his stuff 🙂

I’ve been looking for a type of digital cam that is similar to catpat but doesn’t appear as dark in shadow. Where i’m living it’s fairly dry so something like this might work well, just need to find a place that i can buy it 😦

14 09 2009
there can be only one… can’t there? « The Camo Side of Dominic Hyde

[…] US Army’s camouflage uniform woes in Afghanistan opened on a new chapter today. Readers will recall that the States’  Special Operations soldiers were dissatisfied with their current uniform, […]

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