Night has become a helper again: Israel has come up with a material that is invisible to thermal imagers

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Night has become a helper again: Israel has come up with a material that is invisible to thermal imagers
Night has become a helper again: Israel has come up with a material that is invisible to thermal imagers
29 December 2021, 11:12Technology
Israeli military researchers create material that makes night vision devices useless.

Alexander Sychev

When the first night vision devices were put into service in some countries, the military rejoiced - the night was no longer a cover for various secret military operations of the enemy, who did not have the all-seeing “eye of Sauron”. But soon there was no enemy left who did not have it. The original owners were very upset. Among them was Israel. Tel Aviv was so upset that it devoted years to developing protection against thermal imagers and seems to have created one. Polaris Solutions, writes The Popular Mechanics magazine, announced the completion of the development of Kit 300 camouflage material.

Kit 300 is, in Israeli terminology, "thermal visual masking". Translated into a less pseudoscientific language, the developed material does not allow the spread of thermal energy from a source - a soldier or equipment, and also has a camouflage color so that the protected object remains difficult to distinguish during the day.

The representative of Polaris Solutions kept silent about the most interesting thing - what the Kit 300 is made of. He just mentioned that it contains "microfibers, metals and polymers" and that it looks like foil. But very strong, as can be understood from the words of the secretive representative, since on this sheet, if necessary, you can take out the wounded from the battlefield.

The Kit 300 sheet is the size of a double sheet and weighs about half a kilogram. It can be easily rolled up into a small roll and in this form is included in the equipment of a soldier. A large sheet can hide a car the size of a Hammer, which is known to be about 5 meters long, a little more than two in width and a little less than two in height.

There are two more advantages of the material - it is waterproof and under it you can hide from any rain, and not yet roast in the Negev desert - it creates a good shade. Finally, this material can be shaped to the desired shape, and thus create a shelter that organically fits into the terrain.

The Israelis claim that their Kit 300 camouflage can give the civilized world a night advantage.

This is how it always happens. At first, technologies provide some kind of combat advantage. But technologies do not stand still and the "antidote" is being discovered. But how beautiful everything was before the beginning of the twentieth century. The troops are brightly, beautifully and variedly outfitted. Infantry cannot be confused with hussars, artillerymen with grenadiers. The generals are incredible beauty. Each unit and its current state are clearly visible on the battlefield.

But small arms of targeted combat appeared, and they began to shoot all brightly dressed people, as in a shooting range. Russian troops faced the problem of vulnerability in the 1905 war with Japan. The soldiers began to stain their snow-white tunics on purpose.

But the first to merge with nature were the Scottish huntsmen who decided to merge with nature in the 19th century. They needed to sneak up on poachers without being noticed, so they came up with loose suits of dyed strips of fabric, which they called Ghillie. The idea was so effective that London even hired Scottish rangers to serve as snipers during the Boer War in southern Africa.

By the First World War, as small arms improved, all armies had already switched to a restrained color scheme that was not striking. In any case, this was the field form, and they also experimented with patterns, patches, twigs and bunches of grass.

In 2015, the U.S. Army ditched pixelated grays and whites in all-purpose camouflages in favor of a new scheme developed by Natick Soldier Systems. It was named Scorpion W2. From the dots that were used on the previous version of the uniform, they returned to the lines and specks of muted colors. Camouflage has taken root and since 2021, the Scorpion has dressed the Army, Air Force and Space Forces.

And everything would be fine, but scientists have come up with thermal imagers. In the Soviet Union, the first night vision equipment appeared even before the start of the Great Patriotic War. The Dudka complex was installed on tanks of the BT family. The Americans made their M3 Infrared debut in the last days of World War II.

Early device designs worked according to the following principle. An infrared illuminator, invisible to the naked eye, illuminated the target, and the reflected light amplifier provided an image.

Later they learned to see without illumination, simply by increasing the light present in the night, especially the moonlight.

The real revolution took place in the 80s of the last century. The instruments became so sensitive that they could distinguish the slightest thermal deviations from the baseline background. Now it was possible to see the grass, bushes, trees, even better than people, and the uncovered parts of their bodies just shone in the night.

It should be recognized that throughout the 1990s, thermal imagers gave a huge advantage to the armies of countries that had this technology. But over time, the devices fell in price and became almost generally available.

Israelis, on the other hand, became concerned after a major clash with Hezbollah fighters in 2006. It turned out that the Arabs saw all the night maneuvers of the Israeli soldiers and skillfully resisted. In the hearts of Tel Aviv even complained about the UK and Italy, which sold Iran night vision devices to combat drug trafficking. Those thermal imagers were partially taken over by Hezbollah militants. By the way, by 2017, Iran had learned how to make devices at its plant.

Kit 300, we are confident that the Israeli military will allow them to disappear into the night again and effectively fight Arab terrorists.

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