Master Sgt. Benjamin Owens models the Army Combat Uniform using the new Operational Camouflage Pattern. (Army)
Combat uniforms featuring the service’s newest camo pattern will be available for sale starting in the summer of 2015, the Army announced Thursday.
The Army is calling its new camo the Operational Camouflage Pattern, though it’s been referred to in previous tests as Scorpion W2. It is similar in appearance to Crye Precision’s MultiCam, but was developed by Army Natick Labs in Massachusetts.
Scorpion W2 uses a color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.
The Army plans to transition to this new camo over time, phasing out the unpopular gray-green Universal Combat Pattern of the ACU. The Army, in a statement, said a phase-out of the older uniform was “fiscally responsible.”
The name “Operational Camouflage Pattern” is intended to emphasize that the pattern’s use extends beyond Afghanistan to all combatant commands. It will also be worn in garrison. However, leaders have said it would be just one part of a “family” of camo patterns that will also include a dark jungle-woodland variant and a lighter pattern for desert environs.
“The Army has confirmed through testing that [OCP] would offer exceptional concealment, which directly enhances force protection and survivability for soldiers,” according to the statement.
The brief statement ends months of official silence, though it was leaked in May that the Army would be selecting Scorpion W2.
In another potential cost-saving measure, the Army plans to retain wearable items in the Universal Camouflage Pattern and dye them coyote brown.
The Army is seeking to over-dye existing Modular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment (MOLLE) and Improved Outer Tactical Vests (IOTV) that are the digital Universal Camouflage Pattern to create a darker color that more closely matches coyote brown.
On June 20, the Army's program manager for soldier equipment posted a solicitation for industry partners who can over-dye nylon, cotton, rayon fabrics of various constructions.
To perform the dye work, the Army is seeking portable technologies that can be used outside of the manufacturing environment, suggesting the Army wants to save the cost of sending its equipment to manufacturers.