|The ACU digital uniform will be|
made with a stronger material next year.
U.S. based manufacturers argue that viable domestic alternatives to rayon are available. Because of this, there are rumors that these manufacturers are seeking to get the congressional waiver cancelled. Alternatives do exist and the Armed Forces are well aware of this fact. In 2008, the Air Force chose the Abrams V fabric for use in flame resistant ground combat equipment, a blend of nylon, cotton and Nomex and 100% U.S. produced. Nomex, however, is more expensive and needs a longer time to produce. Furthermore, rayon is more comfortable, moisture absorbent and can be easily dyed.
The new hot weather boots is expected to provide better ankle and foot support but will most likely be stiffer when worn. In February 2011, the U.S. chose the Belleville 950 Combat Mountain Hiker, which will be issued in addition to the current combat boots. Featuring a Vibram Bifida outsole, it boasts of better support, grip, fit and durability as ut is 20% thicker than what most combat boots have.
Col. Cole's office also revealed that selection is ongoing for the new ACU camouflage pattern, in which 20 submissions are being reviewed. It will be followed by wear and field tests and if all goes according to schedule, production of the new ACUs will commence in October of 2012.