New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 2, 2016
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New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

In a statement today, the Bundeswehr Scientific Institute in Germany unveiled a new camouflage design it has been working on for a handful of years. With this new design, soldiers in the nation's armed forces (Bundeswehr) will be far less visible to night vision devices than when wearing the current "Flecktarnmuster" pattern introduced in the early 90s. This new design, Multitarnmuster, is said to have two big advantages.

The first big bragging point is the expansion of lighter sand-colored areas in the camo, making them more suitable for use in places like Afghanistan in comparison to Flecktarnmuster’s darker forest-like shades. As the institute points out, the current camo being used was designed for places with large spans of forest, namely Europe. In 2011, officials declared it time to create a new camo pattern suitable for desert environments.

Note: The image above shows the current "Flecktarn" camouflage design used in Germany and several other countries.

The new sand-friendly design isn’t the biggest bragging point, however. More notably, and in line with present battlefield technology, researchers developed the camo pattern in such a way that it will be very difficult to discern via night vision technologies using infra-red wavelengths of light between 700 and 1200 nanometers.

Of course, thermal cameras will still be able to spot soldiers at night due to their body heat, making the camo better than before but not the end-all solution to nighttime invisibility. Said one of the researchers, “There is no global military camouflage pattern [that will shield] soldiers from thermal images.”

SOURCE: Süddeutsche Zeitung