Thursday, August 11, 2011

Solicitation for Improved Army Combat Pant

MultiCam FR ACU Pants
The U.S. Army Contracting Command has put forth a Request for Proposal for trousers manufactured commercially that exceed the standards of those currently worn with the Soldier's ACU. 

The key aspects they would like to see improved for this Army Combat Pant (ACP) are the flame resistant qualities of the material utilized, as well as strength in the areas prone to ripping including the seat and crotch, which can be designed with a gusset.  

The new Army Combat Pants will go the way of the button on the pockets and the waist, but with a zipper fly. No mention of hook and loop system or velcro is mentioned whatsoever. 

Removable hard shell knee pads are a requirement including a flap to cover the pouch to keep out debris and drainage to keep water from building up in the pocket. The ACP must also have a tightening cinch at the leg cuffs and waist.

The solicitation points out that the new ACP material must be capable of being printed with the OCP (MultiCam) and UCP (Univeral) Camouflage patterns currently in use by the U.S. Army, as well as possible additional camouflage options. This could aim at future selections or possible special operations use. 

Other key features for bonus points on the submitted proposal include: additional pen/knife utility pockets, color integrity, moisture-wicking qualities, quiet in motion fabric, built-in repair kit, and great shock absorption in the knee pads. 

While it is great to see new improvements making headway with the Army Combat Uniform, it will be interesting to see how everything plays out with the different players and designs submitted for the  proposals, which are due August 25th. It seems that certain manufacturers are already in mind given the specifications, but we hope that the key factors mentioned are based on soldier's input in creating the best possible Flame Resistant pants for the Army. 

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