The U.S. Army has changed its government-owned Scorpion camouflage pattern to look almost exactly like MultiCam. Since 2010, MultiCam has been the trademark pattern the service has been using in Afghanistan.
According to Fox News, earlier this spring Army leaders began briefing senior personnel around the service that the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UPC) will be replaced with Scorpion, a pattern similar to MultiCam that was developed around 2002 for the Objective Force Warrior program.
For five years, the Army has conducted testing in an effort to replace the USP. They originally wanted to use Crye Precision’s MultiCam but problems occurred with price negotiations. At that point, the Army decided to go with Scorpion, which was also designed by Crye Precision but under a government contract.
Since the choice to go with Scorpion, Army experts decided to improve on the pattern. Crye had already made revisions on it and named it MultiCam. The Army’s new version, known as Scorpion W2, looks almost the same as MultiCam, according to an Army source involved in the program.
Fox news reported that Crye did not respond to an email request to discuss Scorpion W2. However, his company does employ a team of lawyers to prevent uniform companies from turning out unlicensed knock-offs of MultiCam.
The Army was ready to announce the results of its multi-year camouflage improvement effort almost a year ago. It postponed the announcement when congressional language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2014 asked the Pentagon to put an end to the services labeling their ranks with distinctive camouflage uniforms.
It is not a surprise to camouflage experts that the Army decided to improve on the original Scorpion design. Scorpion has the same colors as MultiCam, but MultiCam has a slightly sharper, slightly darker appearance. Also the original Scorpion would fade far faster than Multicam, according to a subject matter expert on the product. “It’s too light; that’s why MultiCam exists,” he said.
The unique blend of greens, browns and tans that make up MultiCam has been a favorite of Special Operations Command for almost a decade. It was the clear winner over several other patterns in 2010 when the Army selected it for Afghanistan. Studies in 2006 and 2009 showed that MultiCam outperformed UCP in multiple environments.