Whenever the military takes in a new technology, the troops find ways to train and fight with it. If it’s an effective piece of tech, the military will change its entire war-fighting strategy to fully incorporate it.
Sure, it might seem like stating the obvious to say that a new type or version of a vehicle calls for a change in strategy, but even something as small as an updated camo netting can drastically alter the way leaders approach the battlefield.
It’s called the Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System (or ULCANS) and, according to the manufacturer, Fibrotex USA, Inc., it will act as concealment from ultraviolet, near-infrared, short-wave infrared, thermal, and radar detection while providing a near-perfect visual match to most environments.
The United States Army awarded Fibrotex USA, Inc. a 10-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract valued at $480 million. Full-scale production is set to begin in 2019 at a manufacturing facility in McCreary County, Kentucky. Meanwhile, testing has already begun at the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center and the results, so far, have been fantastic.
The product is as good as advertised, which means troops should expect to get their hands on it by the end of 2020.
It’s see-through from the inside while being virtually invisible from the outside. Sound like something that might come in handy for troops?
(Fibrotex USA, Inc.)
The implementations of this netting are limitless. Nearly every unit in the Army could use this technology in one variation or another. The single netting could be made into a shelter-half for snipers and forward observers. Larger netting could be used to conceal vehicles or Tactical Operation Centers.
The netting also comes in a Mobile Camouflage Solution, or MCS, variant that can be applied to the surface of vehicles and remain on them while they’re in motion. This sort of technology offers an unprecedented amount of protection for retrans vehicles that would otherwise need to remain motionless and obvious on tops of mountains.
As awesome as that looks, I can almost assure you that some private is going to mess up the application when they get stuck on a working party to do so.
(Fibrotex USA, Inc.)
With the looming possibility of war with a near-peer nation that’s reliant on sophisticated detection technologies, this netting could realistically be used by every soldier in one way or another.
To see Fibrotex’s ULCANS in action, check out the video below.
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