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The importance of effective camouflage cannot be overstated. In the realm of tactical camouflage, few patterns have garnered as much attention and respect as the Advanced Tactical Concealment System, commonly known as A-TACS. Developed with a deep understanding of the environments in which tactical operators find themselves, A-TACS has become a staple for many in the field. Here, we delve into the intricacies of various A-TACS patterns, focusing on their unique colour palettes and applications. 

In this blog post:

How A-TACS camouflage patterns work

  • Pattern Design: The A-TACS camouflage patterns are designed using a patented process that creates organic pixels and patterns, resulting in a more natural appearance. Traditional digital camouflage uses square pixels, which are not found in nature. Organic pixels in the A-TACS pattern, on the other hand, better mimic natural environments and thus provide better concealment.
  • Color palette: The color palette of A-TACS camouflage is selected based on the environment. There are different versions of A-TACS camo for different environments, such as arid, woodland, and urban terrains. The colors in each pattern are selected based on the prevalent colors in those environments. This ensures that the wearer blends in more naturally with the surrounding terrain.
  • Scaling: The A-TACS patterns use larger and smaller organic shapes distributed in a specific way to break up the outline of the wearer. This is essential for effective camouflage, as it helps to disrupt the shape and symmetry of the wearer, making it harder for the human eye to recognize them.
  • Texture: The A-TACS pattern includes a texture that is unique to A-TACS camouflage. This texture helps to break up the outline of the wearer further and adds depth to the pattern. This makes it even more difficult for the human eye to discern the wearer from the background.

Overall, the A-TACS camouflage pattern family works by mimicking natural environments as closely as possible using organic pixels, carefully selected color palettes, scaling, and texture. This ensures that the wearer blends into their surroundings, making it harder for others to see them. 

Original A-TACS AU (Arid Urban) Camo - 2009

The AU pattern was a revolutionary step in camouflage design. Developed by Digital Concealment Systems, it was crafted to address the needs of Special Operations across various service branches. Unlike many modern digital patterns, which often have detection flaws, A-TACS AU introduced organic pixels, replacing the unnatural square ones. These organic pixels, derived from real-world elements, create a more natural appearance. The pattern also introduced the concept of using small patterns to form larger, more distinct shapes, effectively breaking the human outline from a distance. The neutral tan base colour is ideal for open, rocky, or arid environments.

Original A-TACS FG (Foliage Green) Camo - 2011

Instead of merely recoloring the AU pattern, A-TACS developed the FG pattern from scratch to cater to greener, temperate settings. Incorporating numerous shades of green and earth, sampled directly from forested terrains, the FG pattern offers a unique three-dimensional effect, enhancing concealment in such environments. The pattern was retired in 2018.

A-TACS LE (Law Enforcement) Camo - 2013

Developed with the assistance of law enforcement professionals, the LE pattern is distinct. Unlike its predecessors, it's designed to make operators stand out, serving as a "show of force" pattern, especially for Special Operations or Tactical Response Teams.

The A-TACS Camo "X" Lineup - 2016

2016 marked the introduction of the "X" lineup, a multi-environmental concealment solution. The central component is the A-TACS iX (Intermediate Xtreme), a blend of the AU and FG patterns. This lineup ensures adaptability, allowing operators to switch uniforms based on the environment, while maintaining consistent gear.

A-TACS AT-X (Arctic Tundra Xtreme) Camo - 2017

For those operating in arctic and snow-covered terrains, the AT-X pattern offers optimal concealment. It combines subtle grey and blue tones over an ice-white background, making it the ultimate solution for overwhites and insulated gear.

A-TACS TD-X - 2017

The TD-X pattern is a testament to A-TACS's commitment to innovation. Designed for diverse environments, from rocky terrains to forested areas during autumn, TD-X blends natural grey, brown, and green tones, ensuring maximum concealment.

A-TACS Ghost - 2018

Derived from both A-TACS iX and LE-X, Ghost is tailored for urban operations. Its neutral grey shades give it an aggressive yet effective appearance, ideal for urban tactical scenarios.

A-TACS U|CON (Universal CONcealment) - New for 2023

The landscape of global conflict is ever evolving, necessitating a camouflage pattern adaptable to transitional terrains. After two years of rigorous development and testing, both visually and in the Near Infrared Spectrum, A-TACS introduced U|CON. This pattern was honed with the insights of Military and Tactical professionals. It's not just about blending; it's about understanding the environment. By studying recurring shapes, tones, and colours in nature, and grouping these tones in specific ways, visual confusion is created, enhancing concealment. The U|CON pattern pushes the boundaries of printing technology, showcasing advancements in tone, colour, and shading.


In summary, the variety of A-TACS patterns highlights the complexities and requirements of different operational environments. From urban settings to transitional terrains and snow-covered landscapes, each pattern is meticulously designed to address specific challenges. For tactical operators, choosing the right camouflage can be crucial, and with the diverse range offered by A-TACS, there are options tailored to a multitude of scenarios.

Published: 02-09-2023 // Tags: Blog // #camouflage #tactical-gear