Latest updates: Over $100M in contracts, New ACU pattern for Afghanistan.
The New ACU: Changes
The USA’s Army Combat Uniform (ACU) has undergone significant redesign over the last few years, including the recent addition of an Army Combat Shirt made of different materials. The advances in ACU design undertaken by US Army’s “PEO Soldier,” drew on feedback from the troops and an iterative testing cycle to define the new functional design and look. See the graphic for more details re: specific improvements.
All of the new uniform pieces use a new fractal camouflage scheme called ACUPAT. Because of the wide variety of areas in which ACUPAT may have to operate, and the desire to keep the number of potential uniform schemes to a minimum, ACUPAT is not as locally optimized as other advanced fractal patterns like Hyperstealth’s KA2 for Jordanian forces. It is also very closely derived from the US Marines’ MARPAT, rather than incorporating some of the more recent advances in the field. Like the uniform itself, it may have further room for refinement, but it is an improvement over past conventional camouflage patterns and uniforms. This article tracks the current set of ACU contracts over time, from their initial 2005 issue to the present; as well as changes to US ACU patterns.