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Camouflage

Old 25th Apr 2015, 07:20
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Camouflage

Looking at the video of an F3 engaging in spirited low level stuff in the Falklands, I was struck that the light grey scheme actually blended surprisingly well with the sea. Anyone with direct experience care to comment?

More recently, on a TV piece showing a staged attack by Grenadier Guards, their multicam looked very pale and conspicuous amongst green English fields.
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 07:32
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In this wonderful time of austerity,we wear a clothing system that is almost designed to meet every requirement (bar snow). It's credit to those hardworking designers in DSTL et al that we are given such wonderfully comfortable and practical apparel, stylish in its design and well tailored.

Oops sorry, sarcasm mode was engaged.
It's actually, erm, crap.
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 07:34
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As ever there is an element of 'it depends' about it. On a high to low intercept over the sea the sea state itself has a big part to play as does the sunlight (the sun would 'highlight' a lighter colour - and might glint off fighter and target alike). I have clear memories of struggling to pick up GR4 over the sea - and having to get lower, sooner to try to find them - whereas usually they were a little too dark to hide and stood out a long way. Conversely I remember looking down over the bright blue Scottish water and seeing a F-3 as bold as if it were Dayglo. With an overcast and some surface spray the lighter grey of the F-3 would probably be quite effective. Of course, that's only the visual spectrum catered for.

Any leader worth his salt would spend a significant part of the plan getting to grips with the environmentals and where they would favour you vice the opposition. Naturally when you got out and about you'd occasionally find your thinking a little wide of the mark!
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 08:34
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i can't comment on the A2A merits of light grey, but from the ground is pretty effective at making low-level fast jets difficult to see against the land-sea-sky mix... how much much more - or less - effective it is compared to the old grey/green, or green schemes i can't remember. getting old you see.

MTP is, as far as i'm concerned, a god send. i've used it in Afghanistan, and now i'm in civvy strasse i use an old smock for work (rural land management) as well as for lots of shooting, and i find it better than DPM in most environments, whereas DPM significantly outperforms MTP only in the densest, darkest coniforous plantation.

DPM, imv, got too dark both as constituant colours, and because the pattern got smaller (put a 1970's DPM against a mid-2000's DPM and you'll see what i mean). the overall effect became a dark green/brown man shape - MTP's colours however match a much wider array of landscapes (heath, moorland, deciduous woodland, rocky mountain, scrub, arable farmland...), and the pattern disrupts the 'man shape' much more than the close patterned dark blob of DPM.

DPM is still excellent in natural woodland once theres a bit of vegetation about, whereas MTP can become a bit pale, but as an overall system its (imv) far superior.

/geek off/
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 09:42
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A slight diversion, but within the spirit of the thread title: what was the rational behind some Vulcans (notably XH558) carrying the grey/green camouflage across the whole of the underside as well as on the upper surfaces?
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 09:47
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When turning at low level, the Vulcan would flash a lot of undersides from that huge delta. It was trialled that all-over wraparound grey/green was a visually more effective camouflage than a light coloured underside.
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 10:45
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And the Black Buck aircraft had overall dark grey undersides, presumably optimised for the night attacks.

I vividly recall seeing the first one so painted, as I cycled to work, with its nose sticking out of [5?] hangar ... the first indication that 'something was going to happen' involving Waddington.
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 14:13
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Originally Posted by Maxibon View Post
In this wonderful time of austerity,we wear a clothing system that is almost designed to meet every requirement (bar snow). It's credit to those hardworking designers in DSTL et al that we are given such wonderfully comfortable and practical apparel, stylish in its design and well tailored.

Oops sorry, sarcasm mode was engaged.
It's actually, erm, crap.
Well if you want the best you have to be prepared to pay for it.....


http://www.projectgecko.info/reviews...in-suit-part-1

Last edited by glad rag; 25th Apr 2015 at 17:39. Reason: update info..
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 15:51
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I remember some long time ago a DCI, or some such, came out which asked for ideas for a helicopter camouflage/concealment system for use on the North German plain.

My suggestion that an array of bright lights in a big flashing arrow with the words "helicopters here" - with the thinking that the Sovs would believe it to be a double-bluff - was, apparently, not acted upon!
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 18:18
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I did a very short stint at Kingsfeild in 89 where the RAF first played around with the peculiar desert pink scheme on a C130.
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Old 25th Apr 2015, 19:15
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Just a comment.
I read in a book about WW2 that a tank group were about to advance when a trooper pointed out a camouflaged German tank to his officer. The officer and nobody else could see it. Turned out the trooper was colour blind and could see the tank when others could not. He spent the rest of the war on point so to speak.
I never found out if this ability was reported and any studies were carried out to see if colour blindness was an asset in detecting camoulfaged ememy positions or vehicles.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 01:01
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albatross, the ability of those with certain types of colour blindness to detect camouflage is fairly well documented, I believe a number of studies have been carried out over the years. You'll find all sorts of examples on Google, colour blind air gunners, snipers, infantry etc.

There are some other interesting advantages associated with colour blindness, such as better night vision, and the ability to detect movement at greater distances. An interesting fact I once read is that a study discovered a higher than average instance of colour blind males in the South East UK areas that were historically prone to invasion. There is some debate as to whether the condition is actually an evolutionary advantage. As a sufferer myself, I've found it more a hindrance than a help, but it certainly keeps my kids amused!
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 09:55
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Yes chaps,
During my time in the army (infantry), I found that, when out on patrol, I could distinguish potentially nasty things the others couldn't.
This also got me a number of gigs as observer on rotary-wing missions.

I also found that my night vision was (still is) superior to that of others.

My particular deficiency, according to the Ishihara(?) test, is red/green.
The downside was that it meant that, in those days, I would never be able to hold a CPL. - Pish!

The strange thing is that, later on, it didn't stop me becoming a successful graphic designer. Go figure.
.

Last edited by Stanwell; 26th Apr 2015 at 11:09.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 10:07
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Small is good, big is bad. Huge is....

AD grey is triffic in the welkin.

black is bad.

filthy huge dirty smoke trail will take you to a German Phantom at the end of it, or the steelworks at Duisberg.

radar can keep eyes inside when a look out of the window might reveal what you seek.

gentlemen don't fly at night when cammo doasn't count.

Never fly over water with possibility of a CAP. Never fly over water.

keep wings level and bunt the ridges.

wets
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 19:25
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Shot one.

I would say that MTP is a very good overall cam scheme.
There is no particular cammo that works well in a field, which is why soldiers add local foliage to themselves.

DPM was designed to a very different criteria and while it worked well in its ideal setting (less than 75 metres in deciduous woodland) it appeared as a dark shape at longer distances.

MTP is good in many environments and at all kinds of observed ranges. One reason it would have stood out on the TV programme you saw is that the show was filmed with digital cameras. Although the MTP would have been different to the surroundings you saw it may have been less so viewed with the naked eye.

German Flektarn cammo can also appear very bright and orangey when filmed with a digital camera, but is a very effective cam when viewed with the naked eye.

All that said, many people don't like the newest MTP uniforms as they don't like the pocket arrangement etc, but then many naysayers of the new uniform don't wear it on patrol/front line either. Once you are wearing body armour and have several pouches around you the lack of a decent chest picket for fags or choccy becomes a non event.
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 19:56
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Why are F-15Cs a different grey to the 'shoot me down' dark grey F-15Es?
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 20:30
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Because the F-15Cs are up with the angels, but the Es are down in the mud, mainly at night
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Old 26th Apr 2015, 21:27
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I have to fundamentally disagree with the earlier posters about MTP.

While the MTP-PCS is a far better clothing system than was CS95 (albeit with too much velcro), the MTP camouflage system is, IMHO, fundamentally flawed.

It works fine for where it was designed (the fertile areas bordering on desert such as in Afghanistan) but it is certainly not Multi Terrain.

In temperate European areas the only time it works IME is in grassland, and specifically grassland that has not become lush (ie that green/brown grass you see in early spring or late summer/autumn).

In woodland it is worse than useless and, more worryingly, at night in any sort of ambient light the wearer stands out like a Belisha Beacon!

I have operated on the Plain, STANTA, Catterick, Sennybridge and Otterburn - the only place MTP really worked was April/May at Catterick, otherwise it was appallingly bad.


I would agree that DMP became darker post CS95 which degraded its effectiveness - early DPM was far more effective.

I would bet a pound to a pinch of salt that within 5 years we will be back in a woodland type cam.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 01:17
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Its always a great source of amusement to see the Camouflage uniforms that have dayglo reflective material sewn in.
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Old 27th Apr 2015, 01:19
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A peacetime OHS requirement.
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