SOPAT™ (Special Operations Pattern) Camouflage
(May 30, 2006 Vancouver, B.C.) The Camouflage design team of Dr. Timothy R. O'Neill and Guy Cramer reveal SOPAT-III (Special Operations Pattern - version 3).
SOPAT was initially developed at the request of Zombie Studios (www.zombie.com) of Seattle, WA for an advanced military simulation for Groove Games (due to be released in September 2006) to represent United States Special Forces camouflage a few years in the future.
Zombie Studios specializes in first person military simulations and has worked on the successful "America's Army" game, recently developed by the U.S. Army. Zombie's Co-CEO, Maj. Mark Long, (U.S. Army, Ret.) formerly a senior engineer at General Dynamic's CASE laboratory, wanted the most realistic look and feel for the new game his company could achieve. Mark turned to HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. (www.hyperstealth.com) to provide a camouflage pattern for Special Forces of the future based upon ongoing developments in the U.S. Military - not Science Fiction.
HyperStealth’s President/CEO Guy Cramer and his design partner Lt. Col. Timothy R. O’Neill Ph.D. (U.S. Army, Ret.) are both currently under contract to the U.S. military and are working together to develop the United States next generation camouflage patterns.
O'Neill developed DualTex camouflage for the U.S. Army in the late 70's and early 80's that was the catalyst for recent pixalated patterns, and he is also one of the developers and Patent holders for MARPAT (U.S. Marines Pattern). Cramer, commissioned by King Abdullah II (Jordan) in 2003 developed the pixalated KA2 pattern for Jordan - which now has seven color schemes and over 390,000 uniforms manufactured for military, police, civil defense and customs officers.
Initially the Cramer/O'Neill design team provided their SpecAm pattern (developed for advanced military uniforms) for the game, but rapid breakthroughs by the team in new concept fractal algorithms (feedback loops) brought about SOPAT (Special Operations Pattern). This new pattern was designed and then offered to Zombie Studios to replaced SpecAm. However, resolution issues if the game is played on TV consoles created a problem for the original SOPAT design. This brought about the third pattern which the team had been working on for optimal Close Quarters Camouflage called CQC™(not shown) that is better suited to television screen resolutions.
The Cramer/O'Neill team worked on SOPAT as if it was to be an actual, complex, authentically-colored Special Forces combat pattern (which is why the resolution issues came about). After this pattern was not used for the game, the team continued to refine the pattern further.
The SOPAT program became one of internal research to further push the development of digital camouflage and to enhance other projects the team was working on for a number of domestic, foreign and commercial customers. Then a possible new end-user was determined by the team: Multinational Special Forces.
Several clandestine Special Operations over the past few years have been accidentally disclosed when photos emerged that identified Special Forces in areas where their government's had previously denied these troops had been operating. One of the more notable was a photograph released in the Media on January 21, 2002 of Canada's Elite Commandos; JTF2 (Joint Task Force 2) with captured Taliban in Afghanistan. It was their CADPAT TW (Canadian Disruptive Pattern - Temperate Woodland) camouflage which identified them - and this came very close to costing the then Canadian Minister of Defence his position. This information also embarrassed the Government as they had not advised the opposition parties in the House of Commons that JTF2 had been deployed in the region. The incident also strained Canada's relations with some countries.
The photo also highlighted the problem that Canada had not yet begun production of their Desert pattern (CADPAT AR - Arid Regions) at this time and that the Temperate Woodland color scheme was inappropriate for the Afghanistan theatre of operations. This was more than a simple logistics problem – it created an operational hazard as it hindered the ability of the troops to evade detection by the Taliban and Al Qaeda as well as the better camouflaged U.S. Special Forces working with JTF2. This also created tension between the allies as they often did not want the more easily detected Canadian Temperate Woodland camouflage uniforms in their operational vicinity. Finally, even with the proper Arid color scheme, the JTF2 troops would still have been identified from the photograph.
In some countries, such as the U.S., where there are different Special Forces such as Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEAL's, Delta Force, etc. specific patterns for each group would not be beneficial as the units differ in the size and nature of their operations. Furthermore, if each force had an individual camouflage pattern this would provide their adversaries with crucial information. For instance, if it is known that the U.S. Navy SEAL's wear a unique camouflage and operate in 8 man teams, then if an adversary can see 6 people in U.S. Navy SEAL camouflage they will know what type of unit is operating against them, what types of tactics and operational procedures they will employ – and they will know that they need to look for 2 more members. However, if the adversary spots 6 men in SOPAT, they won't know if there should be 8, 80 or 800. Moreover, they won’t even be able to tell visually if they are American, Canadian, British, Australian, or others. Thus their intelligence becomes far less decisive and the Special Forces team maintains an important tactical edge.
A third issue with the Canadian incident showcased the well-known fact that countries develop camouflage patterns and colors that work well in their own country but not abroad; CADPAT TW is an excellent pattern for Canada and Northern Europe, it is not as good in middle latitudes where the greens are different than those of Canadian or Northern European latitudes. Having a series of color schemes available for Special Forces allows for more accurate color blending than relying on the regular issued patterns developed for specific countries.
Currently a number of Special Forces use older, unofficial or commercially-available patterns or schemes to get around the deficiencies of their issued kit. This has been allowed by many countries as it does not identify the user and may also offer better concealment. With numerous infiltrations recently into secure areas by insurgents and adversaries using the same easily-obtainable uniforms, there is now a need for special gear with specific features which is only available to Special Forces and which difficult to replicate.
The Solution: A new camouflage for the Special Forces of a select
number of allied countries that routinely work together that provides:
While still in research and simulation testing, SOPAT Version 3 (shown below) is improved over SOPAT Versions 1 and 2 (not shown). The pattern initially started as an improved pixalated (Digital) pattern where the rectangles are designed and scaled to blend with background noise. The SOPAT pattern was further refined with two more fractal algorithms to add a more natural look both close-up and at distances. SOPAT Version 3 thereby retains the micropattern background match but enhances both the Micropattern and the Macropattern beyond the squares and rectangles used in current pixalated patterns.
The Uniforms: While actual uniforms are expected to be manufactured for some of the color schemes, a unique feature HyperStealth is working on is to allow a number of regional patterns to be carried by an operator as disposable printed overalls weighing less than one pound for each uniform which can be placed over the base uniform for added concealment if transitioning into a specific region or being dropped into a zone without due preparation time.
Typically Regular Forces must wear the issued uniforms made for their own country; Special Forces in Canada and the U.S. are not required to follow this regulation and often go to foreign or commercial suppliers to get specific gear and weapons which are more suited to their operational and personal requirements. Thus a SOPAT uniform manufactured to military specifications could legally be purchased and used by the Special Forces of more than one country and contribute to reduced acquisition time and cost, improved camouflage and operational security, and reduced risk of identification and counter-intelligence.
Imagery: Uniform patterns below are simulated with HyperStealth’s proprietary CON2PRO™ (Concealment Concept - Prototype™) Simulations. This provides a realistic look that allows the developers to determine the correct scale and provide a virtual pattern with correct human shading for testing before a prototype is ever printed. Rapid Textile Prototyping on cloth is achieved with HyperStealth's CON2PRO system using special techniques developed for the Kingdom of Jordan's KA2 program. This allows color matching, correct scale and final prototype signoffs for production to be authorized. CON2PRO eliminates a number of costly and time-consuming steps over previous camouflage development methods.
For more Camouflage news go to the HyperStealth® Home Page
Countries interested in using this pattern should contact Guy Cramer for further information.
These patterns are copyrighted © 2006 by Guy Cramer and Timothy R. O'Neill, All Rights Reserved. Patterns may only be used only with permission.
This page and information © Copyright 2006,Guy Cramer,Timothy R. O'Neill, All Rights Reserved.
HyperStealth is a Registered Canadian Trademark of HyperStealth
"SpecAm" is a Trademark of HyperStealth® Biotechnology Corp.
"SOPAT" "Special Operations Pattern" are Trademarks of Guy Cramer and Timothy R. O'Neill
"CQC" and "Close Quarters Camouflage" are Trademarks of Guy Cramer and Timothy R. O'Neill
"MARPAT" is a trademark of the U.S. Marine Corps
"CADPAT" is a Trademark of the Canadian Government
"CON2PRO" is a Trademark of HyperStealth® Biotechnology Corp
"Concealment Concept - Prototype" is a Trademark of HyperStealth® Biotechnology Corp