Friday, May 14, 2010

A-TACS Webbing and Hook and Loop - Camouflage Week

A-TACS's upcoming release of its nylon gear and apparel line will feature both webbing and hook and loop fasteners in the A-TACS pattern. In the above photo, the webbing can be seen on the closest utility pouch, and the hook and loop can be seen scattered around the vest. The pattern just keeps looking better and better, and there's an obvious dedication to making sure every part of a loadout is covered in A-TACS.

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  1. I've been withholding judgment on this pattern since first seeing it on this site a couple months ago, but now I have to say that I DESPISE this A-TACS stuff. Despite all the theory and tech (and probably millions of $) that Bushmaster have put into this, the final product just looks like caked-on mud.

    So far there have been no open real-world tests of this stuff, and just manufacturer hype. All of their photos have been staged in front of gravel, rubble, and dead vegetation, in exact spots which all fit this pattern perfectly. This is like someone dressing up in a polka dot suit, then standing in front of a polka dot wall and declaring that polka dots obviously make great camo. To see what I mean, look for the photo of the operator by the sandbags; he's standing by the light-coloured sandbags and blending in, but if he took one step to the right he'd be in front of the OD sandbags and stick out. Same with the pics in vegetation, where he blends in fine when near the arid patches but would shine like UCP/ACU if he took a step forward into the greener area.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are great greyish arid places with no vegetation where this camo would be perfect - a World War I type of battlefield comes to mind, where all the vegetation's been blown to bits and all that's left is mud and rubble. But this is definitely not the "camo of the future", when the future is fast-moving asymmetric warfare, on a variety of terrains. Because of marketing it may be the camo of the *immediate* future, though. In other words, a fad.

  2. I think the fact that it looks like caked-on mud is actually a testament to how effective it is in it's targeted environment. As for greenery, you are right, it's not effective in vegetation, but it's not meant to be a "universal pattern". A-TACS plans on releasing different "patterns" to my understanding, each of them targeting a specific environment. This particular pattern is designed to work in the theatre of war which many western countries see themselves entrenched in for the foreseeable future.Mud and rubble is pretty representative of this theatre, a mix of sand, dirt and blown up concrete buildings.

    Overall, I think I may have a bit of a bias, just because I think it looks really cool. :P

    The only solution to asymmetric warfare on a variety of terrains is the adoption of multiple forms of camouflage. Hopefully more countries will realize this and adopt a multitude of patterns/concepts, and hopefully DCS will create multiple patterns within their A-TACS system (such as woodland or arctic designs) to account for different theatres of war.

  3. Forgot to put this up in my comment (from the A-TACS website):
    Q – A-TACS has been described as a universal pattern; so how will it work in a green environment?

    A – A-TACS is a universal pattern concept. There will be environmentally specific variations. each of which are in-turn, designed to work in a wide range of settings. The current pattern variant is designed to work in a variety of arid, dry, grassy, rocky or urban environments.