Author Topic: CADPAT & MARPAT (and "did the americans copy off our new desert camo?")  (Read 29306 times)

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Bartok5

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CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2003, 15:37:00 »
Fellas,

In the "MARPAT" thread some members of the board  requested an e-mail article I wrote about a year and half ago regarding the digital camo patterns. When I wrote the original article there was some question as to the developmental process, as well as the "chicken and egg" aspect of CADPAT versus MARPAT. Judging by the MARPAT string, there are still some folks who aren‘t aware of the background issues.  The information that I‘ve "cut and pasted" below is all factual, based on what I read and was told by those intimately involved in CADPAT development and fielding about 18 months ago.  Take from it what you will...

"I finally have some definitive information for those who are interested in the development and comparative performance of the new Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT) and MARPAT uniforms. I also have the “bottom line” regarding the “chicken & egg” issue of CADPAT versus MARPAT development. This might be particularly timely, given all of the interest in MARPAT now that it is available at USMC clothing stores.

I’ll begin by noting that the information provided below is derived from 2 primary sources. The first is an article written by the Canadian Army CADPAT project manager, Major D. Palmer. The second is a detailed discussion that I held 2 days ago with the Canadian Army’s “Clothe the Soldier” Program Manager from the Directorate of Land Requirements – Close Combat Soldier Systems. A team from the “CTS” Program visited my base in Edmonton to update soldiers on the status of the program and demonstrate the new equipment. Just about all of the new individual clothing and equipment coming on-line within the next 2 years will be produced in CADPAT – from the Load-Bearing Vest, to the Rucksack, to the Temperate Combat Boot (yes, CADPAT boots!). All of the kit demonstrated was first-class stuff, and will be a real quantum leap in terms of comfort, utility and effectiveness for our troops. But I digress – on to the subject of CADPAT (and later, MARPAT).

After 25 years of experimentation and trials using various existing and experimental “conventional” camouflage patterns, the Canadian Forces undertook development of its unique new “digital” pattern in 1995. A much more analytical approach was adopted for this project than had been the case prior. Past camouflage trials had been just that – very much a process of simple trial and error. Development and acceptance/rejection of trials patterns had been based on little more than determining which patterns “looked good” and were liked by the troops. This approach was clearly not conducive to developing the most effective pattern possible, and it was therefore decided to approach the problem from “first principals”, fully exploiting scientific analysis and the latest in leading-edge textile technologies.

The first step in developing the "CADPAT TW" (Temperate Woodlands) was a spectral analysis of Temperate terrain throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Images were recorded of “typical” woodlands across the breadth of Canada and Europe during Spring, Summer and Fall, in both the visible and infra-red spectrums. The images were recorded at typical infantry woodland target detection and engagement distances of between 50 and 300 metres. These images were then computer-analyzed to determine which colors would best blend into the “average” temperate surroundings, and in what ratio/proportion. This analysis determined that 4 colors with specific shades/tones were required to achieve the best possible “all around” concealment effect. These are the same specific Light (lime) Green, Dark Green, Light Brown, and Black which were ultimately incorporated into the Temperate CADPAT.

The initial work described above regarding coloration and Infra-Red issues was contracted to a Danish company called DADCON. It was at this point that the Canadian Defence Research Establishment (DRE) took over development of the CADPAT under the auspices of DLR Close Combat Soldier Systems at National Defence Headquarters.

The next step (based on the same visible and IR imagery used by DADCON), was to develop a pattern with the specific shapes, sizes and arrangement of the 4 selected colours that would achieve maximum effect. The desired end-state for the pattern development process was optimum performance in terms of blending/concealing and “breaking up” the human shape when viewed against a broad range of natural temperate backgrounds with the naked eye, magnified daytime viewing (eg. binoculars), and both passive and active night vision devices. Again, this step focused on developing a pattern that would defeat (or significantly degrade) detection by enemy personnel at ranges of 50 to 300 metres, day and night. After due deliberation of the various factors and imagery, algorithm-based computer analysis produced the current “pixilated” CADPAT TW as the optimum camouflage pattern for the desired parameters. CADPAT TW was officially adopted as the standard Canadian Army pattern in 1997.

Once the Temperate CADPAT was developed, the next challenge was to secure appropriate textile manufacturing technology. The pattern had to be reproduced on fabric with exacting accuracy to ensure integrity of the “pixellation”. This pixellation is a key element of CADPAT’s overall effectiveness. Furthermore, the printing process had to produce a pattern which would be colour-fast and long-wearing (eg. highly fade-resistant) on the unique Canadian 50/50 NYCO lightweight combat uniform material. Finally, the dyes used had to be both colour-fast, and had to provide the desired level of IR protection (currently the highest level of protection offered by any military uniform, world-wide). Canadian manufacturers could not achieve the above requirements, and the required technology had to be imported from Barracuda of Switzerland.

Field trials were conducted as soon as the correct material could be manufactured into uniforms. The initial 6-month trial was conducted in 1998, using 660 CADPAT uniforms. 2 uniforms per man were issued to the members of 3 x 110-man Light Infantry Companies based in Eastern, Central and Western Canada. The results were extremely successful in every regard. The evaluators’ only criticisms of the trials uniforms were related to minor tailoring details such as the omission of storm-cuffs in the pant legs. Reviews of the CADPAT performance in the field were universally enthusiastic. A final field trial (with the previous tailoring details addressed, but with “covered” (as opposed to “exposed”) buttons was conducted in 2001. This time, the same soldiers were issued a single uniform. No change to the performance of the CADPAT – the soldiers loved it. They didn’t much care for the covered buttons, however this feature has now been incorporated into the second production run of the new uniform as a cost saving measure. The adoption of covered buttons means that a common tailoring pattern can be adopted by both the Canadian Army and Air Force.

I personally had numerous opportunities to observe both the initial and final CADPAT field trials throughout the period 1998-2001. My considered opinion is that the performance of the pattern under field conditions was nothing short of astounding. I‘ve worked with many different Armies over the past 22 years (U.S., British, German, French, Belgian, Polish, Dutch, Ukrainian, Malaysian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Uzbek, etc, etc) all of whom wear one type of camouflage pattern or another. I can honestly state that I‘ve never encountered another pattern that comes close to the CADPAT in terms of versatility and effectiveness in the field.

The first general-issue CADPAT item to be issued to the Canadian Army was the cover for the new Kevlar helmet. This item was received by the field force in 1998, and was actually manufactured by Barracuda of Sweden. Conversion to the CADPAT uniform itself commenced in late 2001. The delay in issuing the new uniform was related to manufacturing technology problems (dicussed above), which have since been addressed by the textile contractor. The CADPAT combat uniforms themselves, are manufactured by Peerless Garments Ltd, of Winnipeg Manitoba – a long established Canadian Army contractor.

So, just how good is the Temperate CADPAT? According to the Canadian Defence Research Establishment, within the optimized target detection range of 50 to 300 metres, the pattern offers a scientifically-validated 45% increase in concealment (compared to the previous Canadian OG 107 combat uniform). Furthermore, it has been found that the enemy must be 35% closer to the wearer of CADPAT in order to detect him. The bottom line is that Temperate CADPAT currently provides the highest achievable level of clothing-based individual concealment in the environment for which it is intended. This assertion is based not on bias or conjecture. It is a fact derived from extensive scientific testing using both instrumented and human factors experimentation to obtain objective, qualitative and quantitative results. Provided that the CADPAT is employed against the intended range of temperate backgrounds, the digital pattern will offer the user a superior level of concealment against observation by eyesight, IR viewers and passive night vision devices. Superior to what you ask? The simple answer is every other pattern currently fielded by a NATO Army. In the last round of NATO field uniform trials, CADPAT clearly out-performed the U.S. Woodland, German Flecktarn, British DPM, Danish M/84, etc, etc, etc. This is not conjecture – it is the validated result of recent multi-national trials.

An "Arid Regions" (eg. Desert) CADPAT has also been developed for use in arid environments. The exact same developmental process was employed to develop this pattern (imagery of various desert environments, etc, etc). I handled the prototype uniform during a Clothe The Soldier “show and tell” session, and must say that it also looks terrific. It is a 3-colour pattern (Pinkish-Tan, Medium Brown, and small flecks of Black). Unlike the U.S. MARPAT which uses the same basic pattern (with different colours) for its Temperate, Desert and Urban variants, the CADPAT AR is completely different from the Temperate pattern. The shapes within the Arid Regions CADPAT are much larger and more globular in shape than those of the Temperate pattern, which has a distinctively “horizontal” orientation. The requirement for 2 completely different CADPATs makes sense when you consider that the Desert pattern is optimized for concealment at longer detection ranges (300 to 600 metres) in more open terrain. The Desert CADPAT is now being produced in quantity for Arid Regions deployments.

Having exhausted my information regarding the development and relative effectiveness of the CADPAT TW and AR patterns,, I will shift gears and address the issue of CADPAT versus MARPAT development. There has been some discussion in various forums regarding which came first, and whether one pattern is a derivative of the other. As a result of personal discussions with the CADPAT project manager, I can state with 100% certainty that MARPAT is a direct derivative of CADPAT. The USMC apparently expressed considerable interest throughout the latter stages of CADPAT development. This interest peaked when scientific findings regarding the pattern’s efficacy indicated its superiority over every other temperate pattern currently fielded. The USMC was looking for a “distinctive” Corps uniform, and the CADPAT fit the bill perfectly. At the USMC’s request, the Canadian government “shared” CADPAT with the Corps for its new uniform trials. Minor adjustment of the pattern (different colours and inclusion of the USMC logo) apparently allowed the USMC to avoid paying licensing fees associated with any use of the copy-righted Canadian pattern. It is difficult to say just how similar the two patterns are without having an example of the MARPAT to compare against my issued CADPAT, however I am led to believe that they are virtually identical. Once again, this information is not conjecture on my part. These are the facts of the CADPAT versus MARPAT debate, as explained to me by our national Project Manager.

Well, that about wraps it up. I apologize for the lengthy message, but I hope that those who “stuck with it”, found my contribution useful. The bottom line is that anyone interested in the subject of CADPAT/MARPAT development and comparative effectiveness, now has access to just about all of the non-classified information currently available regarding those uniforms. Better yet, the information that I provided came direct from the writings and mouths of those responsible for the CADPAT project - it is pretty much unassailable."

So, there you have it - some concrete background information that hopefully sheds light on a number of questions. Not the least of which is "why digital patterns?". The short answer is, because they work better than anything else on the market....full stop.

Cheers,

Mark C

rolandstrong

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2003, 15:51:00 »
this is an outstanding posting Bartok. it certainly gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of the development of CADPAT.

I have one question, however.

You mentioned that there was an effort to develop fade resistant dyes. Why has there been the big fading issue? Some guys at our regiment that have come back from rotos have very faded CADPAT uniforms.

Bartok5

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2003, 15:03:00 »
Roland,

There were problems with colour retention in the first production runs of CADPAT material back in 2000.  The textile technology required to print the pattern with the basic colour and anti-IR dyes had not been perfected when the first batches of material were manufactured. The problem was getting the dye to set properly in the unique Canadian version of 50/50 NYCO, in order to provide an adequate degree of colour-fastness and fade resistance.

One of the first batches of material intended for mass production of the CADAPAT uniform was rejected outright by DND due to very poor dye adhesion. The fabric manufacturer was stuck with literally 1,000s of metres of the stuff, which the company couldn’t simply dump on the civilian market as “seconds” due to the Canadian government’s CADPAT copyright.  The manufacturer finally received permission to sell the material to Frontenac of Quebec (a past Canadian government contractor of the OG Combat Uniform) on the condition that they not manufacture items identical to the genuine-issue CADPAT uniform.  Hence the reason that the “commercial” CADPAT you see in Canadian surplus shops and on eBay, is styled like the old OG uniform (epaulets on the shoulders, narrow chest pockets, etc).  If you examine any of the “commercial” CADPAT manufactured (sewn) by Frontenac, you will immediately notice that the dark green colour within the pattern is very splotchy.  This is because the dye did not properly “take” to the NYCO material.  This is precisely what resulted in DND’s rejection of the entire early batch of material.  As an aside, the “commercial” Frontenac-sewn CADPAT is utter crap.  Not just because of the dye-set/fading problems, but because it is so cheaply made.  The stitching is no mil-spec, there are no double-layered reinforcements on the thighs/knees, seat or elbows/forearms, the pockets are not cordura lined for durability, etc, etc.  It is utter crap, and my advice would be to run, not walk away from it.  

But I digress.  The second run of CADPAT material solved most of the problems experienced with the rejected batch - at least in terms of the splotchy appearance and lack of proper dye/colour impregnation. What the second run didn‘t adequately solve, was the issue of colour-fastness and fade resistance. This did not become apparent until after the first production run of issued uniforms (eg. white tags, 2000 production) had been fielded. My former unit was the second in the Army to receive the new uniform, for our Afghanistan deployment in early 2002. The first unit to receive CADPAT was a Quebec-based battalion of the R22eR for their Bosnia deployment in late 2000.  

Once those initial large-scale issues of CADPAT hit the streets, complaints about the colour-fastness and fade resistance quickly began to surface.  Both DND and Peerless Garments Ltd (PGL – the government contractor) openly acknowledged the problem, which was reported in the open media. DND and PGL resolved to sort out the problem for future (eg. post-2000/2001) production runs of the CADPAT TW uniform.  My understanding is that the problem has indeed been addressed through further tweaking of the proprietary textile manufacturing process.  Any uniform manufactured since late 2002 should demonstrate vastly improved colour retention and fade resistance.  Check the clothing’s tags.  If your CADPAT is early 2000/2001 production with white tags, it is likely prone to accelerated fading.  If it is late 2001 or later manufacture with OD tags, it should be the current generation of material with the improved colour retention.

Notwithstanding the improvements that have been made in terms of increasing the fade resistance of CADPAT, we have to remember that it is a military uniform subject to considerable abuse. In my experience, even the early uniforms don’t fade any worse that the former OG Combat uniform.  It is simply more noticeable when you have a printed camo pattern – especially with black in it.  Let’s face it – the CADPAT  uniform gets worn as daily dress, both in garrison and the field.  The frequent laundering alone, subjects the uniform to far more wear and tear than any civilian clothes would see.  Add to that, the abuse that the uniform gets in the field, and it should be no surprise to anyone that it fades at a faster rate than....what?  What can you compare it to?  U.S. BDUs?  They fade just as fast as even our early CADPAT did, with its acknowledged premature fading problem.

Remember that the faded uniforms your buddies are returning from overseas deployments with, have seen continual, daily use for at least 9 months (work-up training, plus the deployment).  While they are deployed overseas, those uniforms are subjected to the military "boil and blast" method of bulk laundering. The laundry system literally boils the uniforms, and then drys them at intense heat in large industrial driers. Try doing that to ANY other military uniform (or your civilian clothing)  for 6 months, and see what it ends up looking like....

My current duty uniforms (part of the fade-prone initial production) went through the same military laundering abuse for 6 months in Afghanistan, with the added impact of fading from the intense desert sun. My uniforms are admittedly quite faded, not to mention worn down to the bare nylon on the thighs/knees, elbows/forearms, and lower shirt pockets (where the bottom of my frag vest rubbed).  I have no doubt that the efficacy of the camo pattern has been somewhat compromised by the fading, however my initial-issue uniforms remain otherwise serviceable.  I would suggest that any uniform with a service life exceeding 6 months of operational duty in one of the harshest environments in the world, is pretty darned good.....

In any case, the problems with the initial production run of CADPAT have been addressed. Any subsequent production uniform items (distinguished by OD tags and a mid-2001 or later date code) should demonstrate a significant improvement in terms of fade resistance.

And no, I am not a “shill” for PGL, Clothe the Soldier, or any other party with a vested interest.  I just happen to be a soldier with an interest in CADPAT as it compares to other camouflage patterns.  International camouflage is a bit of a hobby for me:

 http://www.geocities.com/Canuck_Infantry/INDEX.html

Sorry for the long-winded response.  I hope that I managed to answer your question.

Cheers,

Bartok5

rolandstrong

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2003, 15:29:00 »
Well there can be little doubt that my question was answered. Quite impressive knowledge on this subject. Sure opened my understanding on the CADPAT. The fade issue is relatively minor, and as you pointed out, the environments that are seeing CADPAT are certainly warmer that "temperate forest". I got a great deal out of this thread. Cheers.

Online Excelsior

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2003, 16:34:00 »
Most interesting read. Thanks.

henleykg

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2003, 01:40:00 »
Bartok5,
Your article is interesting as I have never read about the development of CADPAT.
I was the first operational active duty Marine to be assigned as a consultant for the new pattern to be used in the new Marine Corps MCCUU. In short, I was the first guy asked to help develop what is now MARPAT.
Having said that. I can concur with you that MARPAT did in fact come after CADPAT. But your information about the patent issues is incorrect. You do give plenty of resource references and names about the CADPAT program but you fail to list such references on your MARPAT comments.
We did not express any such interest in the stages of the CADPAT development. Our team was not even assembled until after CADPAT had already been completed.
Furthermore, "minor adjustment" of the colors and pattern did not "allow" us to avoid the patent issue because it never WAS an issue. We had no need, desire or purpose to avoid any patent issues because it was not needed. As a matter of fact, we never even considered or honestly, had the presence of mind to even check to see if it WOULD be an issue. As it happens, international law does not govern textile patents. So even if we had fabricated an exact replica of CADPAT, it would not have been an issue. That, however was not even close to our intention.
We were designing not only a new pattern, but also a new design and cut of clothing article and we wanted it to be something that the other branches could not adopt by default and simply start wearing (*note that the other 3 branches are now developing their own uniforms)

Read here if you would like to see the article I wrote explaining the entire program.

 http://www.militarymorons.com/misc/misc.html#marpat

Offline matt45

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did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2005, 15:53:05 »
i was just wondering if the Americans coied off our desert camo because there looks alot like ours?did we copy of them?

regards:Matt45 :CD:
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Re: did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2005, 15:55:38 »
No, the Desert/Arid versions of CADPAT and MARPAT are two seperate patterns.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

jmackenzie_15

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Re: did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2005, 16:03:09 »
 they are mysteriously similar, but so are the m16 and c7 =p. Our militaries share all kinds of things, its no big deal.While infanteer is right, the patterns are different, there are only slight differences.Just so they can say it isnt the same thing imo.

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Re: did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2005, 16:16:57 »
See the attached link that discusses CADPAT and MARPAT.

http://www.hyperstealth.com/CADPAT-MARPAT.htm
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Re: did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2005, 16:23:15 »
See the attached link that discusses CADPAT and MARPAT.

http://www.hyperstealth.com/CADPAT-MARPAT.htm

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Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

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Re: did the americans copy off our new desert camo?
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2005, 16:29:05 »
they are mysteriously similar, but so are the m16 and c7

The C7 rifle was infact an M16A2 (field rear sight version) made under licence in Canada. On the original 1985 rifle, the only difference was a Cdn 'skinny' round front sight post, as compared to the square American one. First C7s did have the large thick square post.

Cheers,

Wes
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Offline TCBF

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I can remember helping the wpns tech in B Sqn 8CH(PL) in Lahr change the foresights on all of our C7/C8s.

Although we did not have any desert cam uniforms in Kandahar in 2002, they did give us each two of the desert CADPAT individiual Camoflage screens.

Tom
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Offline Gunner

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We had the Cadpat (AR) for Op ATHENA Roto 1 onwards.
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

Offline Kyle Burrows

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  Guy Cramer  ::)  Michael has the right idea... This pattern is my favourite because the only time you would use it is _________(cant think of anywhere even in the city where it would be useful)
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Offline Mark C

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While I fully acknowledge that some of Mr Cramer's "ion"-related business claims are questionable, I see little to fault in his camouflage-related endeavors.  With one or two minor exceptions, the background information provided on his web-site is consistent with my own camouflage research.  His pattern designs may not appeal to everyone, and some may see the broad range of minor pattern variations as a theme taken to ridiculous extremes.  At the end of the day however, no one can dispute that one of Mr. Cramer's digital urban patterns has just been adopted by the Jordanian Special Police.  Do a search on militaryphotos.net for confirmation of the sales claim on his web-site.

The personal issues that some on this board have with Mr. Cramer nothwithstanding, the fact remains that his camouflage research is solid and his developmental efforts have resulted in the formal adoption of at least one of his digital patterns.  I have never met Mr Cramer and am personally ambivalent.  In the interests of fairness however, I would suggest that his recent sales success offers him a degree of legitmacy and vindication that ought to at least be acknowledged......

Cheers,

Mark C

Offline Patroels

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Re: CADPAT & MARPAT Development
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2005, 15:26:17 »
Barracuda of Switzerland.
... Of Sweden... Which you state correctly a few lines further down ;)

I've worked with many different Armies over the past 22 years (U.S., British, German, French, Belgian, Polish, Dutch, Ukrainian, Malaysian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Uzbek, etc, etc) all of whom wear one type of camouflage pattern or another. I can honestly state that I've never encountered another pattern that comes close to the CADPAT in terms of versatility and effectiveness in the field.

CADPAT and the danish M/84-pattern are indestinguishable once you're 200-300 meters away. I'll even go as far as claiming that the "lime" and "olive" colours of CADPAT are identical to the bright green and dark green colours of M/84. This is however not a scientifical fact, but an observation by yours truly. The IR capabilities of M/84 are -according to me- superior to CADPAT as they can't be washed off (or out)!

In the last round of NATO field uniform trials, CADPAT clearly out-performed the U.S. Woodland, German Flecktarn, British DPM, Danish M/84, etc, etc, etc. This is not conjecture � it is the validated result of recent multi-national trials.

I asked one of the owners of DADCON about these trials, and if any of these where ever published for the average man to read. He knew absolutely nothing about any such trials ever being held, and asked me (-!) why NATO would bother with such "tests". A valid question I believe. I'm not claiming that these trials haven't been held, but ... Where, when, how and most importantly: Why?

Respectfully
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Offline Rider Pride

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Italians in Afghanistan also wear a digital camo pattern remarkably similar to ours. It is a bit more grey, not so much tan/yellow.
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Offline Patroels

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Regarding my posting above:

I've had the pleasure of discussing this subject with Bartok5 earlier, on the forum Wheeler.ca used to have.
But as time has gone by, my mind has been elsewhere. And since I can't brush up my memory on that forum,
i hope it's okay to bring these questions up here.

/Troels
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Offline sironisix

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On the marines site they said "there are interesting images like helicopters, rifles, and the official Marine Corps symbol woven into the fabric that can only be seen if you know where to look."
Is there any thing like that on our cadpat?

Offline Blackhorse7

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The Globe and Anchor symbol is spread randomly throughout the material.  It's not hard to find.  And persoanlly, I think MARPAT has a broader range of use than CADPAT does.  Interestingly enough, I read an article (can't remember where) about the new US Army ARMPAT uniforms.  It looks like very faded MARPAT, almost to the point of being grey.  Anyway, the article discussed how US Forces will no longer be issued black boots because in a study of natural camo, black was found to be a color that is not produced in nature.  The plan was that the current issue boots would be phased out in favor of a desert style boot.  CADPAT and MARPAT both have black in them. 
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Offline oyaguy

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I don't know anything about anything when it comes to camoflage, but don't tigers have black stripes to help break up their shape? That's an example of "natural camoflage".
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Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

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On the marines site they said "there are interesting images like helicopters, rifles, and the official Marine Corps symbol woven into the fabric that can only be seen if you know where to look."
Is there any thing like that on our cadpat?

Mate,

I think someone is pulling your chain when it comes to helo and wpn images. I have seen the MARPAT, yes on Marines, and it was them who pointed out the digital USMC symbol on them, not embroidered in, but part of the scheme in ink, itself.

Don't believe anything you hear.

I think the Mods should open a new forum called 'the rumour net' (only kidding).
"You've never lived until you've almost died; as for our freedom, for those of us who have fought for it, life has a flavour the protected will never know." - Anonymous

Offline Patroels

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I for one believe that the black colour has a use in camouflage patterns (depending on the climate and foliage, of course)
1. To give an effect of shadows
2. As Oyaguy says; to break up the outline.
3. And finally to function as a contrast to the other colours.
OBESA CANTAVIT
(The fat lady has sung)

Offline foxtwo

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I couldn't make out what was in the right hand of this JTF-2 assulter... Is it a camo'd weapon of some sort?