The U.S. Marine Corps is working to better cloak its troops in a world where enemies increasingly have devices for detecting thermal signatures.
U.S. Special Operations Command, the Army and the Marine Corps are all working with manufactures to come up with camouflage that can deal with numerous modern sensors for detecting troop movements. Military officials are particularly concerned with cheap products that can pick up the short-wave infrared range (SWIR) that is invisible to the human eye.
“There are requirements to conceal uniforms across the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Maj. Anton Semelroth the Combat Development and Integration spokesman at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps Times reported Sunday.
Reed F. Curry, the president of UVR Defense Tech Ltd. told the newspaper that since the 1990s, “anybody can purchase a Sony camcorder, put an appropriate filter on it and see UV or near IR.” Security officials say drug cartels along the southern U.S. border using SWIR sensors and fear that terrorist organizations will follow suit.
Companies like the W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and Israel-based Fibrotex Technology have been working on multispectral concealment for some time. Some of Gore’s products are being used and evaluated by the U.S. military, while Fibrotex is a supplier for the Finnish Ministry of Defense, the newspaper reported.
“The Holy Grail is to give that to the warfighter — SWIR and thermal concealment without an additional garment. That is in our research and development,” said Russ Hornung, the W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. product manager for SWIR technology, Marine Corps Times reported.
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Maj. Semelroth told the newspaper that there was “no question” that such products will eventually “improve our Marines’ ability to exploit enemy vulnerabilities and increase our overall combat effectiveness.”