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The U.S. Army is investing in future camouflage technology systems designed to protect soldiers and hide their heat signatures.
In future battlefields, where it is very likely for the soldier to be in lethal environments, soldier survivability is essential and survivability begins with staying hidden. In operations where there is a likelihood that units will be separated and cut off, managing to stay discreet to the enemy is also just as important. That is why the U.S. army is working on camouflage suits for soldiers that keep the soldiers hidden to the naked eye and to thermal imaging technologies.
In today’s battlefields there are already high tech precision targeting weapons. Where pretty much if you can see a target, then you can hit the target. For this reason camouflage systems that break up heat signatures and electronic signatures for vehicles are critical.
One of the bigger threats soldiers deal with is the advancement of detection technologies. It is pretty simple for soldiers to hide in the visible spectrum, but once the enemy is equipped with thermal signature detection technologies it is a whole different game for the hidden soldier. A well hidden military sniper may be invisible to enemy eyes but can light up like a street light if scanned with thermal imaging.
Army officials haven’t stated which specific systems they are invested in, but Businessinsider.com projects that the new systems may include the Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS) and the Improved Ghillie System (IGS) for snipers.
ULCANS is an advanced type of camouflage that is used to hide military personnel from night vision, thermal imaging, radar and more.
IGS is in testing stages and is possible that IGS will replace the older Flame Resistant Ghillie System (FRGS). It is not certain yet if IGS can counter thermal sensors, but the technology is going through full spectrum testing.
In the future warzone, where lethality and survivability are key, it is not enough for soldiers to be able to just fight, they need to be able to hide as well.