The US Army is moving forward on next-generation concealment technology to ensure that American soldiers can hide in plain sight.
Fibrotex has built an Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System that can be used to conceal soldier's positions, vehicles, tanks and aircraft. The new "camouflage system will mask soldiers, vehicles and installations from state-of-the-art electro-optical sensors and radars," the company said on Thursday in a press release sent to Business Insider.
Fibrotex has been awarded a contract to supply this advanced camouflage to conceal troops from night vision, thermal imaging, radar, and more.
The new programme aims to replace outdated camouflage that protects soldiers in the visible spectrum but not against more advanced, high-end sensors. ULCANS "provides more persistent [infrared], thermal & counter-radar performance," Fibrotex explained.
The Army has awarded Fibrotex a 10-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract valued at $480 million (R6.3 billion). Full-scale production will begin next year at a manufacturing facility in McCreary County, Kentucky, where the company expects to create and secure hundreds of new jobs in the coming years.
"Today, more than ever, military forces and opposition groups are using night vision sensors and thermal devices against our troops," Eyal Malleron, the CEO of Fibrotex USA, said in a statement.
"But, by using Fibrotex's camouflage, concealment and deception solutions, we make them undetectable again, allowing them to continue keeping us safe."
The result came from roughly two years of testing at the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Centre, where new technology was tested against the Army's most advanced sensors.
Fibrotex noted that the netting is reversible, creating the possibility for two distinctly different prints for varied environments. And while outsiders can't see through the netting, those on the inside have an excellent view of their surroundings, as can be seen in the picture above.
The Mobile Camouflage Solution (MCS) takes concealment to another level, as "the MCS provides concealment while the platform is moving," the company revealed. Business Insider inquired about the secret formula to blend in moving vehicles with changing scenery, but Fibrotex would only say that their "technology combines special materials, a unique fabric structure and a dedicated manufacturing process."
ULCANS and its relevant variants are based on "combat-proven technologies" designed by the Israel-based Fibrotex Technologies, the parent company for Fibrotex USA, over the past two decades. The company's products have been specifically modified to meet the needs of the Department of Defence.
"We have more than 50 years of experience, with thousands of hours in the field and a deep understanding of conventional and asymmetric warfare. The US Army tested our best camouflage solutions and the camouflage repeatedly demonstrated the ability to defeat all sensors known to be operating in the battlefield and throughout the electromagnetic spectrum," Malleron explained.
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