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198CADPAT & MARPAT Development (Part 2)

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  • canuck_infantry
    Jan 20, 2002
      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. 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,
      using the naked eye, infra-red, and passive image
      intensification devices. After due deliberation of the various
      factors and imagery, computer analysis produced the
      current �pixilated� CADPAT as the optimum camouflage
      pattern for the desired parameters. CADPAT was officially
      adopted as the standard Canadian Army pattern in
      1997.<br><br> 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.<br><br> 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 care for the covered buttons however, and as a
      result the current-issue uniform has reverted to the
      traditional Canadian exposed-button design.<br><br>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. <br><br>.....Part 3 follows......
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