Multi Terrain Pattern Camouflage
|Multi Terrain Pattern – Not Gay|
Tom Cruise not gay! Mandleson not a crook! Pigs seen flying! Can we really have a British defence procurement success? Well, nothing that implausible, as Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP) is a UOR rather than mainstream equipment procurement, but it is still damned good news for the British Army.
Multi Terrain Pattern
MTP is the version of Multicam specifically created by Crye Precision for the British Armed Forces. It uses the same colours and proportions (although obviously we’ll get it knocked up in a Chinese sweat shop, so there will be some variation), in a redesigned camouflage that reflects the pattern shapes in DPM. This gives the same performance as Multicam but with a uniquely British image that carries forward the “golden thread” of DPM. You can probably even put a Back Badge™ on it.
The first versions of MTP seen appear to have used larger blocks of colour than Multicam, closer to the scale of DPM; however, the finished product seems to follow the Multicam scale to the point that the two patterns are virtually indistinguishable from any distance – rather like Woodland DPM and US Woodland cam in the 1980s and 90s. This change may have been because ITDU were concerned that having tested original Multicam, changing the scale for the new cam might have changed its performance; or it could just have been that the scale wasn’t clear from the early design pictures that were circulated.
MTP (well, Multicam actually, but it’s effectively the same thing) was tested alongside both current cams and a range of multi-terrain camouflages from the PECOC programme. By all accounts MTP beat all comers hands down, both on performance and on looks. This is something of a relief, having seen some of the gopping alternatives.
Why Do We Need It?
See here for the full rant on multi-terrain versus terrain-specific camouflage, but the simple answer is that MTP works better across a wider variety of backgrounds, which means you are never wearing something that is dangerously out of place.
Woodland DPM and Desert DPM work very well where they are designed to: in woods and deserts. However, most areas of operation are not just one thing or the other, and patrols and military operations traverse terrain that can vary from light sand to dark woods in a matter of minutes, particularly in Afghanistan, but also worldwide. Desert cam works well in the desert, but once in the Green Zone it works less and less well until you are a light coloured target against a dark green background wishing you could change into Woodland DPM. MTP might not be perfect in either the desert or the Green Zone, but it’s never that bad either: it is good cam for where you actually are, not perfect cam for where your kit hopes you might be.
Both UK and US SF have apparently been using Multicam multi-terrain camouflage for a while now, and have found it to be a much better option. It gets the Michael Yon seal of approval here:.
Apparently, to those in the know, MTP is also referred to as “Martycam”, although who “they” (or “They”) are and why this should be is unclear; possibly the explanation is pinned on the doors to the boathouse. Competing theories include MTP being provisionally named “Multi Region - Terrain”, so MR-T (MaR – T, geddit?), during development and Marty being the name of the designer. Either way, Martycam seems to be another name for MTP, perhaps just because it sounds a bit like Multicam.