Military Camouflage Technology: Countering Thermal Imaging

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June 4, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: June 4 on

Recent research in U.S. military camouflage technology has been looking at how to avoid detection from high-end thermal imaging – described as an emerging threat to the United States. What are the latest camouflage systems that the United States and Russia are developing and how can they help soldiers to avoid detection?

Military camouflage technology has taken large strides in the last decade or so, with lots of novel camouflage concepts being developed, including BAE Systems’ adaptive vehicle cloaking technology, Hyperstealth Biotechnology’s light-bending Quantum Stealth material technology, and the Japanese invisibility cloak developed by Dr. Susumu Tachi, which uses nanoantennae technology to redirect light waves around an object.

Russian state company Rostec is currently developing a new full-body exoskeleton with advanced military camouflage technology for the Russian Army. As well as providing torso “invisibility,” another one of the key features of the Ratnik-3 exoskeleton design is an eyeglass that provides critical reconnaissance information with thermal imaging capabilities, exactly what the U.S. Army is looking to avert.

Across the globe, the U.S. Army is eyeing two new technological breakthroughs to avoid thermal imaging, with the help of U.S. camouflage manufacturer Fibrotex. These are the Ultra-light Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS) and the Improved Ghillie System (IGS).

What can the Ratnik-3 suit do and what technologies could help the United States to prevent thermal detection?