I was interested to read that the US Army is testing what its manufacturer calls a stealth camouflage system. Strategy Page reports:
The U.S. Army is testing MCS (Mobile Camouflage System) that uses a new type of camouflage material for vehicles that provides an unprecedented degree of concealment and stealth. That’s because this new multi-spectral camouflage netting is fitted to a particular type of vehicle like a second skin and providing protection while moving, even in combat. The army has obtained (at manufacturer expense) several sets of this netting fitted for Stryker wheeled armored vehicles and is conducting field tests in Europe using four Strykers. If the U.S. military places a large enough order manufacturer Saab will set up an MCS manufacturing facility in the United States.
This new generation of camouflage material has been evolving for several decades as a way to protect vehicles and mobile bases from aerial reconnaissance that increasingly used infrared (heat) sensors … A Swedish firm (Saab) took this a step further and developed MCS, which proved capable of providing a degree of stealth as well as rendering aerial or ground based sensors (and infrared based weapon sights) less effective. That can be a major advantage in combat where getting off the first accurate shot can be decisive. MCS can be provided in various camouflage patterns and colors so vehicles can quickly “change their skin” to cope with a new climate or season.
. . .
Camouflage is an ancient technique but technology caught up with camouflage in the 20th century … Now MCS and the netting it uses have degraded many of the recent advances in sensors.
There’s more at the link.
The system’s manufacturer provides this promotional video.
I can recall, back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the physical agony (and it often was agony, at the end of a long, very hot, exhausting day of bundu-bashing, being pounded unmercifully in our vehicles as they traversed the African terrain) of spreading heavy, unwieldy camouflage nets over vehicles in the African bush, to prevent enemy MiG fighter-bombers from locating and targeting our vehicles. They worked to a certain extent, providing visual camouflage, but didn’t offer any protection against infrared (i.e. heat-seeking) or radar sensors. This new camouflage looks like a game-changer in that respect . . . at least, until sensor technology improves still further.
The progression never ends, of course. Detection technology will improve; then camouflage technology will leapfrog over current-generation sensors; then new-generation sensors will be developed to ‘see through’ the new camouflage, and necessitate the development of something more effective. That’s why armies dare not keep existing technology for too long. Sooner or later, it’ll be outclassed, and a better-equipped enemy will make mincemeat of old-fashioned opponents.