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New Camo Pattern on the Block

atacs-soldier

As if we didn't already have enough to consider with Marpat, UCP, UCP-D, MultiCam and Desert Brush, in comes another pattern making inroads in the milgear blogosphere.

I've been trolling over at our friends Soldier Systems' site over the past couple days, and the editor over there is obsessed with the development of this new pattern. Not one day after I scoped his post, our partners at Tactical-Life forwarded me an article (that looked more like a press release to me) unveiling the new, multi-environment pattern.

Companies participating in this unprecedented launch include Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS Panther Arms, Danner, EOTAC, Tactical Assault Gear, Blue Force Gear and Emerson Knives.
The the so-called A-TACS pattern departs from today's "pixel" obsession and goes more along the blended lines, making it easy to slip between environments and still conceal movement. 
Many who have seen the pattern comment on how it is unlike any camouflage pattern they have encountered as its chameleon-like qualities cause it to blend into the surrounding environment. This unique “pattern within a pattern” concept allows it to break up the outline of the human body relying on a palette of inter-mingled natural colors over a neutral tan base for use in open, rocky, or arid environments.

atacs-pattern

And here's the conglomerate's explanation for their design:
Many of the modern digital camouflage patterns currently in use by the tactical community have flaws. The square pixels used to create the distortion effect do not replicate the shapes, forms and shadows of the environment they are deployed in-especially when viewed through optics. The ninety-degree angles and limited use of natural colors can in many cases, make detection easier.

Additionally, the “visual noise” in these same patterns tends to make them close-up into a solid color, producing a “blobbing” effect when viewed from a distance. A-TACS addresses and improves these critical issues in three ways.

1. - Replace un-natural square pixels with organic pixels. Utilizing our patented process, we created a palette of natural colors digitally sampled from real-world elements in carefully controlled lighting. The pattern is then created using a mathematical algorithm that writes “organically-shaped” pixels using the specific color information given. The resulting pattern while still digital, is far more organic in appearance.

2. - Use small patterns to create larger more distinct shapes designed to work at a distance. Small shapes create larger shapes and larger shapes are organized into a distinct pattern with no horizontal or vertical orientation. This unique “pattern within a pattern” concept allows A-TACS® to effectively break the human outline at great distances thereby, minimizing the “blobbing” effect of other patterns when viewed from a distance.

3. - More effective use of color-range produces a better concealment system. A-TACS® is created using a far greater range of inter-mingled natural colors than was previously possible. The overall base color for the cast is a neutral tan which is designed for use in open, rocky or arid environments.

Furthermore, the abstract and intricate nature of this pattern gives it a unique “fingerprint”which is not only adaptable to various service branches, but also makes it difficult to copy.

I dunno, another desert/urban pattern? Aren't we debating the flaws of the UCP because of the forested environments of Afghanistan? Doesn't this one look as if it would stick out on a green background?

On the other hand, it's interesting to see someone make a play against the ever-popular MultiCam and to tinker with the science of concealment. Let's not forget, the Army is in the midst of a comprehensive look at its camouflage effectiveness and A-TACS is surely poised to play a role in pushing the argument and science.

-- Christian

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