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Crye Precision developed the new Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) for the exclusive use of Britain's armed forces. As a result, the shapes seen in MTP are more reminiscent of DPM than the elongated woodland forms seen in Multicam. [Image: MOD (UK).]
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At time of writing (December 2009), British troops in Afghanistan used a mix of desert DPM and temperate DPM, with the choice being dependent upon the area in which they operated. However, the British soldiers operating in Helmand Province were faced with a mixed landscape: desert; the agricultural 'green zone', which spans the Helmand River; mountains; woodland; and residential areas. According to an article published on the BBC News Web site, at least one soldier has expressed the opinion that the mix-and-match approach to personal camouflage was far from ideal, especially in the 'green zone'.
In response to this Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), working with the MOD Defence Clothing Project Team, tested ten camouflage suits, to determine which offered the best concealment against the various backgrounds that British soldiers were likely to encounter in Afghanistan. The results showed that Crye Precision's Multicam performed best across the widest range of environments (see Dstl, 'Testing the new multi-terrain camouflage', Wired-GOV.net, 21 December 2009, for more information).
However, the importance of DPM as the British Army 'brand' could not be ignored. For this reason, Crye Precision developed the new Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) for the exclusive use of Britain's armed forces. According to Soldier Systems Daily, a representative of Crye Precision has stated that:
Multicam won all their trials, so they wanted us to develop a pattern for them that performed like Multicam but had a distinctly British identity.
As a result, the shapes seen in MTP are more reminiscent of DPM than the elongated woodland forms seen in Multicam. The new Multi-Terrain Pattern also incorporates a total of seven colours, although the specific designations of those colours have not been revealed by the MOD.
Contrary to claims published in the usual blogs, forums, and wikis, Multi-Terrain Pattern is not meant to replace both temperate DPM and desert DPM. Rather, MTP is intended to replace only the No.8: Temperate combat dress; the No.5: Desert combat dress will remain in service.
British Multi-Terrain Pattern camouflage will be used first in Afghanistan, from March 2010. From 2011, it will be rolled-out across units based elsewhere in the world. The old temperate DPM is to be phased-out completely by 2016.