Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Multi Cam V Multi Terrain

Another mystery to clean up, the confusion between Crye Mulicam (USA) and Multi Terrain Pattern (UK)!  Both patterns look very similar to the untrained eye, because they were both developed to serve the same purpose, to provide a single versatile pattern that was suitable for use in desert, urban and green vegetation all at once!

Once of the major driving forces was the conflict in Afghanistan with its grey-brown mudbrick buildings,  sandy deserts and well irrigated leafy green zone all piled up on top of each other with contacts often sprawling across all 3 environments.  Traditional British Woodland DPM (Disruptive Pattern Marking) and Desert DPM were only effective in one scenario and actually made soldiers stand out like a sore thumb in the opposite conditions.

Both MTP and MultiCam use more colours than their original single use counterparts, covering a broader spectrum of the colour range.

Crye have since licensed their pattern and as well as producing their own range for private indivuduals (as well as on contract to the US Government) they allow brands like 5.11, Blackhawk, Arctryx and more to use their pattern on their products in exchange for a fee.  This has lead to a flood of Multicam products entering onto the market globally.  Multi-Terrain on the other hand is still owned by the British MOD (Like DPM was) but has not been licensed out or allowed to be produced by anyone else.  There are similar patterns like "All Terrain Pattern" or ATP which are privately produced to be as close to MTP as possible without infringing on the patent/copyright.  This means that most private purchasers have not been able to but Multi Terrain and are instead buying either Multi Cam or ATP products instead.  Often with a bit of wear and tear and some dirt rubbed in an ATP or MultiCam pouch on an MTP vest is indistinguishable from the background pattern.

All of the new generation of Camouflage patterns are not only designed with the broad mid spectrum of colours, but they are also meant to slightly reflect the colour of their surroundings so that they appear more green in the woods and more coyote in the desert, and they do appear to work well.  The patterns have been widely accepted and well received by the troops and this technology looks set to dominate the production of military clothing and equipment for the near future at least.

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