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NEWS IN BRIEF – USA

23 May 14. The U.S. Army is quietly putting the word out to commands that it is replacing its current Universal Camouflage Pattern with a pattern the service has owned for more than a decade. The Army’s senior leadership has selected Scorpion, a pattern similar to MultiCam that was developed around 2002, according to a source with knowledge of the decision. Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III has been briefing senior sergeants major throughout the Army about the new pattern for the Army Combat Uniform, but details are still limited. The Army was poised to announce the results of its multi-year camouflage improvement effort nearly a year ago, but congressional language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2014 called on the Pentagon to put an end to the services branding their ranks with unique camouflage uniforms. The Army has been considering replacing UCP with Crye Precision’s MultiCam — a pattern that has demonstrated consistent performance in multiple tests and was selected in 2010 for soldiers to wear in Afghanistan. Army officials even tried to buy the rights to MultiCam but rejected Crye’s figure of $25m, according to Caleb Crye, owner of Crye Precision. Army officials also balked at paying for “printing fees” the company receives on MultiCam — a small figure that amounts to about one percent of the 20 percent price hike uniform companies want to charge the Army for MultiCam, according to Crye. In addition to Crye, the other finalists in the Army’s Phase IV camouflage testing included ADS Inc., teamed with Hyperstealth, Inc.; Brookwood Companies Inc.; and Kryptek Inc. And, ironically, in March 2013 the Army decided to drop the fifth finalist — a government pattern developed at the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center. The pattern, known as Scorpion, was too similar to one of the industry submissions, Army officials said. It’s similar to MultiCam because Crye developed the pattern with the Army for its Objective Force Warrior program in 2012. He later made small adjustments to the pattern for trademark purposes and called it MultiCam. The unique blend of greens, browns and tans has been a favorite of Special Operations Command for almost a decade. The Army selected MultiCam in 2010 as the clear winner over several other patterns to issue to soldiers deploying to Afghanistan. (Source: Military.com)

22 May 14. Lockheed, Austal respond to U.S. Navy query on small-warship ideas. Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia’s Austal on Thursday submitted their best ideas for the U.S. Navy’s next small warship, as a Navy task force continues to reassess the future of its $34bn Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The Navy last month asked U.S. and foreign weapons makers to submit cost and technical data on ship designs and weapons to inform the work of the task force that is due to report on various options by July 31. That, in turn, will help the Navy shape its fiscal 2016 budget request. The Navy created the task force after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed significant concerns about the survivability and firepower of the current LCS ships, and ordered a pause in orders after 32 ships. The Navy has ordered 24 ships of the total 52 planned so far. Lockheed submitted what it called “a low risk approach with several options” that would allow the Navy to evolve the current steel monohull design built by Lockheed for the LCS program, said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. The proposal includes a variety of options for new surface-to-surface missiles, launchers, radar and other equipment – all priced under $700m – that the Navy can choose to pursue all at once or phase in over the coming years, North said. Lockheed’s LCS ships now cost about $460mi each. North said Lockheed also provided details about a higher-end LCS variant it has offered to international buyers that has a bigger hull and includes an Aegis missile defense system. The co

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