середа, 21 травня 2014 р.

Comparative tests of JABA camouflage with the most popular camo patterns from a group of Ukrainian military experts.

Good day dear community!

As you know, in spring of 2013 P1G-Tac® brand (Ukraine) presented it’s own design of the new camouflage for “green zone” called JABA – “field toad”. Camouflage of relatively young commercial company at first glance was too light, especially on the photos and videos, and at the beginning caused a lot of controversy and criticism. One could often hear an opinion of couch potato experts that camouflage design should be carried out in specialized research institutes. Besides that, we've heard the idea that the creation of its own camo by the brand, was nothing but marketing and kind of advertisement.

I can say that research institutes do not exist in Ukraine, and means of automation and computer equipment sometimes replace dozens of professional workers. Having former special forces people with pretty serious experience in local and international level in our team, the company used own experts of our media-center in the process of creation. Guys are working on projects for our television for more than a year and have sufficient experience with modern systems of 3D graphics and visualization. It was this tandem of experts and video designers where the young brand placed their bets while developing their own camouflage. This way a year ago, the first Ukrainian adaptive camouflage was born. 

As you understand, most people today do not have the opportunity to compare the JABA and other camouflage designs on their own, so the group of enthusiasts consisting of five people (former and current military personnel, professional photographers, airsofters and reviewers of military equipment and uniforms) took responsibility to make short test comparison for you.

We tried to find the most popular camouflage patterns that oftenly used in our geographical zone nowadays and divided them into two groups : Russian and US camouflage. 

The first choice was EMR (Edinaya Maskirovochnaya Rascvetka) - Universal Camouflage Pattern, which is used by Russian army. This camouflage was used extensively during the recent events in Crimea.

The second choice was camouflage «Spectr» from Russian company "SoyuzSpetsOsnaschenie". Variations of this camouflage called "Spectr SKVO" and "Spectr Leto" are now actively used by separatists in eastern Ukraine. We have chosen "SpectrLeto" as the manufacturer claims that "SKVO" was developed for the Russian FSB units that operate in the North Caucasus region (hence the title SKVO - North Caucasian Military District abbreviated in Russian) , and "Summer" is designed for Central European Russia, which is quite similar to our region.

The third pick was American commercial camouflage multicam. Nowadays it is the main camouflage pattern in one of the elite anti-terrorist units in Ukraine - CSO SBU "A" (Anti-Terrorist Center operating under the Security Service of Ukraine).

The fourth choice was US camouflage pattern A-TACS FG, that is gradually becoming popular among our professional military as well as among airsoft players. Now this camo gradually becomes the main for one of the battalions of 79 Airborne Brigade (Ukrainian).

We tried to compare all these camouflages with the JABA, which is actively starting to be used by our armed forces. Nowadays it is more and more common to see this camo on our soldiers. The JABA is actively used by the CSO SBU "A", as well as by military units, but so far in small quantity. The first mass use of this camouflage is by our Marines.

We conducted another test in mid-April in the forest-steppe zone of Ukraine, when the leaves were not the dominant element of terrain, but compared to the autumn, its percentage increased significantly. To ensure that you fully understand the picture, I want to say that this is the first part of the tests. As the next step, we plan to conduct a similar comparison in the middle of summer and additionally in the middle of fall, so the reader can evaluate the efficiency of the same camouflage that have been tested in daily work of the troops. In order to do this, the uniform was given to the "N"special unit of Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine that already has the experience of use of relatively high-quality equipment and uniforms from the Norwegian brand NFM and hwe hope to get more detailed observation and comments.

The test report will be provided in the form of picturess that were taken without posing or adjustment of camouflage to the terrain, you will see it on the photos with a few comments and explanations that were discovered during the test. Well, here is the test itself.
Let's go!

Conditions: average cloudiness, rather intense sunlight (afternoon, 2 to 4pm), after minor rain.

First section "The Forest"
Mixed forest of low and medium density. Distance 15 to 60 meters (discreteness of the pictures is 15 meters).

Part One.
"Universal Camouflage Pattern vs Spectrum vs JABA"

Part Two.

Second section "The Undergrowth"
Same conditions as before, but we've chosen undergrowth with plants of different types and intensity.

Part One.
"Universal Camouflage Pattern vs Spectrum vs JABA"

Part Two.

Third section "The Field"
Same conditions as before, but the area with minimal vegetation was chosen at distances up to 60 meters and intense vegetation at the distances over 60 meters.

Part One.
"Universal Camouflage Pattern vs Spectrum vs JABA"

Part Two.

Keep in mind, that during the tests camouflage axioms for soldiers in battle were not used, the soldiers also did not adjuest to the terrain, these are spontaneous shots for general understanding of camouflage in use.

We've decided to rate camouflages by 3-point scale: 
- "0" - camouflage is not working or unmasks
- "1" - camouflage works well enough
- "2" - camouflage works well

The Forest

Regarding work of camouflages testers have the following opinion:
- Universal Camouflage Pattern is too dark and definitely ranks only third. For our geographical zone it works optimally in a narrow range of low height and dense coniferous forests with a dense forest and tall trees that prevents sunlight, like taiga type (this is only a guess) . This camouflage in our conditions clearly unmasked soldiers and therefore receives a rating of 0 points.
- Spectrum holds the second position due to the fact that under different light it works quite differently (from clearly unmasking dark object to good enough camo, but does not visually break the silhouette of soldier as different objects) with little exaggeration we've rated it with 1 point;
- "Field Toad" less exposed to ligh and better visually breaks person's silhouette to be seen as different objects with the help of leaves, unlike previous camouflages does not unmask the soldier. It does what it has to do, so our rating is 2 points.
In the case of American camo it was harder to do our conclusions, in comparison with the Russian ones.
Here they are:
- MULTICAM- loves direct sunlight and well lit background, as well as middle and long distances. Works well in the leaves and tree bark background, but does not work in grass, this is 1 point;
A-TACS FG — works well enough at normal light on a wide range of distances , works better at the direct sunlight and when there are objects between the observer and soldier. Otherwise, it sometimes suffers from "dark" silhouette - 1 point;
JABA here, leads with small gap colors are better fit for our geographical zone, less dependent on light - 2 points

In the first section JABA gets 2 points in both cases , "Spectrum" (with little exaggeration), MULTICAM and A-TACS FG 1 point each and Universal Camouflage Pattern remains with 0 points.

The Undergrowth.

Camouflages remain at the same places as in the previous test.
- Universal Camouflage Pattern unmasks the soldier, making it one dark and quite dense spot regardless of the distance - 0 points;
- Spectrum works slightly better, but not much better than the Universal Camouflage Pattern. Sometimes it " pulls" the light and the presence of additional dark objects on the background but basically it fails too and makes it work only on long distances with sufficient light . We rate it with 1 point;
JABA works much better than Russian ones in this test too due to better adaptability to the light, colors and pattern work well, with increasing distance it is less and less noticeable, deserves 2 points.

As for the "Americans" - we put the same points at distances from 50 meters up for good work . At short distances camos work less stable and it is very difficult to nominate the leader, but visual impression(which photos cannot show) and the fact that in our opinion "field toad" works just a bit better than American competitors, they can be confidently rated with 1 point.

The Field

In spring in the field Russian camouflages don't work in Ukraine absolutely, therefore both Universal Camouflage Pattern, and "Spectrum" valued at 0 points. As for the JABA, it is safer due to light colors and at first glance eye does not grab it and intuitively catches darker areas. Therefore we can not say that it unmasks, but we also cannot state that it works as good as in the forest. 1 point, no more.
After the last test we had no doubt that the U.S. camos will beat "field toad" and it is so indeed, both at the short and long distances "toad" is weaker than A -TACS FG, and MULTICAM is a confident leader. Therefore, 2 points for MULTICAM and also 2 points for A -TACS FG giving it a little bit more than deserved.

Total score:
JABA - 5 points out of 6
MULTICAM - 4 points
A -TACS FG - 3 points
Spectrum Summer - 2 point
Universal Camouflage Pattern - 0 points

As the result of tests the group rated the "field toad" as the best among presented camouflages that never significantly unmased the soldier. The «toad» tried as much as possible to adapt to the background and in generaloften succeeded. MULTICAM confidently holds the second position which, which worked well in our conditions, and in the last test even confidently beaten the leader. Third place went to A -TACS FG, with very litlle gap to the leaders and we feel should work very well during the summer. Fourth place for "Spectrum", does not work good, but unmasks less than Universal Camouflage Pattern, which is outsider of the rating with the rate below average, although it was designed for central geographical zone of Russia, which is very similar to ours. It does not deserve the name UNIVERSAL Camouflage Pattern, that's a pity!

In conclusion we send congratulations to the Ukrainian developers that "their first attempt did not come out lumpy" and their pilot product behaves with dignity and justifies both the name and the declared characteristics. Most skeptics called the "field toad" camouflage for summer - from May to August with exaggeration." But, as our observations show JABA beats the competition! Do not forget that this is not the most green season yet!

I want to thank my colleagues for the test. Artem "T9ma", Alexandra "Muza", Oleg "Pups", Yuri "West" huge thanks to you guys for the help and comments! Without you the test won't happen. Additionally, we are greeting the whole team P1G-TAC with the birthday of "field toad" camouflage, it is now one year old!