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Sunday, December 29, 2013

HyperStealth Ruffling Feathers Over Camo Comparisons

When it comes to his camouflage Guy Cramer of HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. isn't one to rest on his laurels. He has caused quite a bit of consternation in the World o' Camouflage when it come to defending his patterns and apparently this doesn't stop at the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort. Mr. Cramer has been comparing his US4CES patterns to the other released patterns for some time now including MultiCam, which is reported to be very similar to the transitional submission by Crye Precision.

HyperStealth Night Vision Camo Comparisons
Today, HyperStealth noted that the U.S. Army made an informal request in October to ADS. Inc. that Guy Cramer should stop his series of reports in regards to the Camouflage Improvement Effort (CIE). This venture has focused on many aspects including why the Army shouldn't use MARPAT to the history of the MultiCam Pattern as we know it. We have not seen any official release on the CIE winner and we are fairly certain that Mr. Cramer is alluding to his NIR comparisons of the different finalists as being the main bone of contention in his venture to prove that he along with his U.S based partner ADS Inc. are providing the best camouflage patterns for the U.S. Army, at least based on what was requested in the solicitation.

In their note on the Army's request, HyperStealth points to the article that was Part 6 of a series of articles in relation to the CIE. This article keys in on the meddling from Congress, which could hinder the ultimate goal of choosing a family of patterns, which would provide environment specific camouflage for the U.S. Army. However, the main focus is the alleged ineffectiveness of MultiCam in the Near Infrared Spectrum. This article was put out in late July, so we don't think this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

HyperStealth Gen III Night Vision Comparisons
Subsequently in Mid-October Guy Cramer released "Night Vision Device Comparison photos of US4CES and some of the U.S. Army Phase IV camouflage patterns". We don't know when in October the U.S. Army sent their informal request, but clearly this article's photos show the US4CES in a very positive light when compared to competing patterns when viewed through night vision.  The U.S. Army has not made any official announcement as to the winner of the CIE, however SMA Chandler did let the cat out of the bag by stating the U.S. Army would be phasing in the MultiCam pattern with different colors for environment specific uniforms. We also know that there was one key aspect where MultiCam stood out from the pack and put them ahead of the rest for the win. In the Soldier Systems article, they point out that everything looked like it performed the same, except for that one key aspect. 

We don't have the results and possibly they won't be released if the solicitation is cancelled altogether, however it is not too difficult to assume that effectiveness in the Near Infrared Spectrum could be the key factor determining a winner. Sure their are other aspects outside of visual concealment to consider. Aesthetic has been a major factor in selecting camouflage patterns, but we can't imagine this would play in too much. The popularity of MultiCam and its current use would definitely give it the advantage. If a report was released stating that factor, there would be quite the hubbub given the history of camo selection by the U.S. Army. Of course there could be a factor we are overlooking.

HyperStealth NIR Lab Test Results MultiCam Vs. US4CES
Guy Cramer's articles on the effectiveness of his camouflage designs are certainly convincing and intriguing, but their is clearly a huge bias in his analysis. In a previous article we pointed out out that the US4CES Alpha Transitional pattern exceeded MultiCam in lab testing by 25% when it came to visual detection. However, this was done in ADS Inc.'s own laboratories. The night vision comparisons obviously drew the attention of the U.S. Army, but more importantly were in-house tests with several variables that could invalidate the results. It is almost certain, but not officially verified that the Crye Precision transitional pattern submission is very similar to MultiCam. However, neither HyperStealth or ADS Inc. have it nor the other patterns for proper testing. Crye Precision is releasing a family of patterns next year featuring a desert and tropic variant, however they have not confirmed that these were the patterns submitted to the U.S. Army either.

The U.S. Army is already moving to transition into the current MultiCam pattern in use and may just cancel the CIE altogether never revealing any results. Ultimately this would make any conjecture on the effectiveness of any of the patterns rather pointless when it comes to the Army's needs. However, the data collected could certainly be utilized for the commercial or military market. This is where HyperStealth is probably placing their bets in making a convincing argument as to the viability of their patterns in partnership with ADS Inc.

Could you blame HyperStealth in trying to make Chicken Salad out of the Chicken Shit that ultimately became of the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort? We just want to see real results from testing that integrates all of the variables from a non-biased party. Rather than telling those in the industry to stop putting out information in regard to the CIE or hiding their own releases, perhaps the U.S. Army could be completely transparent and just release their results. Of course this could open a Pandora's box that only leads to further ridicule when it comes to their camouflage exploits. Obviously, if they are just stuck transitioning into MultiCam, then this release could prove to be more trouble than it is worth and they can just blame Congress for a cancellation with no further information provided to the masses.