As part of the British Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing (PECOC) programme, three new camouflage patterns were considered for issue to British forces. These were a revised temperate DPM using lighter colours, a new three-colour desert pattern with enhanced utility for night-time operations, and a hybrid four colour scheme using two colours from each of the previous patterns for use on webbing in all terrains. Following an Urgent Operational Requirement for a camouflage uniform for the Afghan theatre of operations, and the success of a commercially available pattern (Crye's MultiCam ) when tested in trials, a decision was made to use MultiCam as the basis of a new Multi-Terrain Pattern for British armed forces, replacing the previous temperate DPM uniforms. Desert DPM uniforms were to be retained. The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence announced that HM Forces would be issued with the new British Army uniform for operations in Afghanistan; initially issued to personnel deployed on Operation Herrick from March 2010, then issued more widely to HM Forces from 2011 onward replacing all DPM variants of the Combat Soldier 95 uniform by 2013. The MTP camouflage design was intended to perform consistently across a wide range of environments encountered, particularly for operations that the military had been deployed during 2009. British Troops in Afghanistan operate in a mixed landscape, including desert, woodland, mountains and urban.
The development team at Dstl tested multi-terrain camouflage versus the standard army disruptive pattern material, and the desert DPM to determine the best balance of colours. The current HM Armed Forces camouflage were then tested alongside off-the-shelf multi-terrain camouflage. The tests were against terrain that soldiers are likely to encounter across the landscape in Afghanistan. A wide range of camouflage colours were trialled in Britain, Cyprus, Kenya and Afghanistan. Camouflage patterns were compared with in-service and commercially available patterns — including those from Crye Precision in the United States. The trials included visual comparisons, objective assessments of the time to detect the different camouflage patterns against different backgrounds, and subjective user opinions on the efficacy of the performance. Crye's "Multicam" pattern was determined to be the best performing, across the widest range of environments (by a significant margin) and was subsequently selected as the basis for the new British MTP camouflage, and combined with the existing British DPM pattern. The MTP pattern itself was not trialled against other patterns and its adoption was based solely on its similarity to the original Crye Multicam pattern.