Dateline — 04:54:13 Friday, 3 August 2012 (GMT)
Good concealment isn't always pretty
In April 2011, Roggenwolf® was advised that New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was looking to update its DPM Combat Uniform. Part of the plan was to implement a new camouflage pattern that could work across multiple operating environments, and I was asked if I would be interested in submitting a proposal. Naturally I was.
The final submission was received by Yakka Apparel Solutions (NZ) on 19 May. Within a week, I was told that one of my camouflage designs — Ryewolf R2™ — would continue to the next stage. Six metres of fabric were printed, and trial garments were cut and sewn.
Recognition testing was conducted around Waiouru, in a variety of terrains: jungle, forest, open country tussock, sandy and urban. The disruptive effect of Ryewolf R2™ was good enough that it passed another down-select. My submission had gone from being one among 12 contenders to being one among five.
However, the colourway was not ideal. Based on feedback and photos from Waiouru, I decided that Roggenwolf's original 'Timberwolf' colourway might be a better choice. A few variations were proposed; prints and fabric were sent; garments were made; and by the end of November 2011, Ryewolf R2™ was running neck-and-neck with only one other design: HyperStealth's Multi-Terrain Camouflage (MTC).
Regular visitors to the Predator Intelligence blog and Soldier Systems Daily will already know that MTC ultimately won the race. They will also know that the final selection was based on aesthetic appeal; additional testing revealed only slight differences in camouflage effect.
So I don't feel defeated. Instead, I feel validated. Since 2006, Roggenwolf has developed camouflage solutions utilising proprietary paradigms and techniques — and now I know that my ideas work.
As a result, I'm currently looking at producing Roggenwolf® Warg 5U™ on a commercial basis.
Warg™ has been chosen for a number of reasons. First, it's more widely known than Ryewolf R2™. Second, it's a little easier on the eye than Ryewolf R2™. Most important, though, is the fact that it was specifically designed to utilise the kind of colourway that NZDF has determined works in jungle, woodland and urban settings.