London, March 23 (IANS) A camouflage material that makes people “disappear” has impressed British troops in a field trial conducted recently in the US, media reported.
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 Rifles) used a high-tech camouflage sheeting called Vatec that even hid them from infra-red and heat-seeking devices, The Mail on Sunday reported.
The troops got so impressed with the material that they even pleaded with top brass to buy the latest camouflage equipment, the report added.
“This is an absolutely brilliant piece of kit,” Corporal Tyrone Hoole, a sharpshooter from 3 Rifles, was quoted as saying.
“The lads are desperate for the army to buy it. Instead of carrying chicken wire, spray paint and thermal sheets we can use this one item, which is really light,” Hoole said.
Vatec can be moulded into shapes to match mountainous terrain and during the trials, the soldiers used the material to build hideaways on a mock battlefield.
They said they could not be seen even when other soldiers acting as the enemy tried to find them using the latest heat-seeking gadgets and infra-red trackers.
The technology was first developed at the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
“I have high hopes for its use in military camouflage. At the moment the military spends millions of dollars developing new camouflage patterns but they’re all static right now, they don’t change. If you put a pattern designed for the forest into the desert, it is not going to function,” engineering professor Xuanhe Zhao from MIT was quoted as saying.
“Dynamic camouflage would allow soldiers and their vehicles to adapt to their surroundings instantly,” Zhao pointed out.