The Telegraph have recently released an article which talks about BAE Systems method of making an armoured vehicle invisible to the naked eye. It is said that the electronic camouflage will make whatever armoured vehicle this technology is attached to; blend into its surroundings. Tests of this technology though were first announced in 2007 and soldiers who participated in the tests stated:
“This technology is incredible. If I hadn’t been present I wouldn’t have believed it. I looked across the fields and just saw grass and trees – but in reality I was staring down the barrel of a tank gun.”
The Telegraph goes onto explaining that the said armoured vehicle will have “highly sophisticated” sensors attached to the hull of the vehicle which will then beam images of the the vehicles location surroundings onto the vehicle itself.
Current technology can get around this however…
The problem with big heavy armoured vehicles is that they eject a lot of heat. A lot of countries today have thermal imaging detectors installed on many of their military vehicles & equipment. All they would need to do is switch the thermal imaging systems on and viola they’ve found your so called invisible tank. Though a way around this is placing the SAAB MCS system or similar onto vehicles which utilize the so-called electronic camouflage added the fact that the SAAB MCS system is capable of hiding IR signatures and heat signatures which in tests have proved successful. Though we don’t know yet how versatile this new system from BAE is and whether it can work in conjunction with other technologies.
It could be useful in countries such as Afghanistan and the middle-east where you are fighting enemies who don’t have thermal imaging capabilities or that sort of technology. Imagine rolling around in a HMMV or a Mastiff and the enemy can only hear you but cannot see you. That type of usefulness could be applied to countries like that where the UK or its allies are fighting. Though dependent on how invisible the vehicle would become when using this system from BAE Systems is obviously a huge factor. For example are there certain distances or ranges where you can make out the outline of a tank or if you are close to the vehicle can it still be seen? Moreover is it actually invisible in the definition that it cannot be seen from the perception of the naked eye or does it just make the vehicle harder to see.
Definitely and interesting concept.