Flexible, Responsive, Comprehensive and Well-Engineered Solutions
Battlefield terrains differ immensely, from searing temperatures to icy blasts, from rich seasonal colours to the whites of snow-covered landscapes. Each brings different challenges for camouflage to overcome.
Military operations often require flexible camouflage for many different objects and situations while still protecting against advanced sensors. ULCAS is an innovative multispectral camouflage net that provides unrivalled signature protection for vehicles and other objects in static positions.
The Pitfalls of Deserts, Woodland and the Arctic
Every terrain requires a different type of camouflage. Saab Barracuda’s expert engineers and skilled scientists understand each setting, having travelled the world, visited an incredible number of deserts, woodlands and snowy settings, and collected samples of their colours, as well as reviewing other aspects like day and night temperatures.
“For deserts, we have a library of sand from the majority of them. For maximum protection, you need the best colours to start with. Then you need the net to be a similar temperature to that specific sand,” explains Senior Development Engineer Dr Johan Jersblad, who has worked at Saab Barracuda for 17 years. “Woodland is a bit easier. The trick here is to make sure that the net has the same temperature as the background. For example, large tanks generate a lot of heat, so our nets must hide this, especially as the woodland cools at night. Any heat must be removed naturally, such as by the wind. If needed, you can also add natural vegetation to our camouflage to further blend in […] The arctic is by far the most complex environment to work in. Vehicles give off large amounts of heat. We utilise special materials to ensure stealth. Thermal or infrared surveys are the most important thing. Our materials reflect the infrared radiation from the snow, so an observer only sees infrared from the snow and not the vehicle […] Each terrain creates new challenges; therefore, we must think differently and use different textiles and pigments, among other things.”
Deceive Wherever You Please
Saab Barracuda closely scrutinises a customer’s needs before designing, producing and field-testing camouflage that is based on battle-proven solutions to protect troops and equipment in any setting and conflict.
“It’s vital that camouflage adapts to its terrain. If it doesn’t, you risk lives and equipment. We examine every aspect of an environment and have libraries of information on each, from their temperatures and colours, to what they are like during the day and night,” added Jersblad, who has a PhD in Atomic Physics.
Static Camouflage – ULCAS
Saab Barracuda specialises in a multitude of advanced, adaptable camouflage solutions that protect against all battlefield surveillance sensors. One such solution is ULCAS, a pioneering multispectral camouflage net with unsurpassed signature protection for vehicles and other objects in static positions. These multispectral properties are not found in other conventional camouflage nets, and protect against reconnaissance and sensors working in the ultraviolet, visual, thermal infrared, shortwave infrared, near-infrared and radar bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.
A New Dimension in Deception
With a 3D surface structure, ULCAS static nets are lightweight, flexible and easy to install. “Nature is 3D, so your net should be too. If you want to blend in, you must look like nature. We can tailor the camouflage performance by using an intelligent choice of materials, such as pigments and textiles, to simultaneously adapt the camouflage to its surroundings and meet every sensor threat. 2D limits this,” Jersblad points out.
Longer Service Life
The nets are cost-efficient, making conventional multiple and single-layer camouflage for different requirements virtually redundant. ULCAS’ non-snagging properties also dramatically increase its service life compared to conventional camouflage.
Why Choose Saab Barracuda?
For over 60 years, Saab Barracuda has been at the forefront of designing and manufacturing cutting-edge, cost-efficient camouflage systems tailored to customer needs. Dedicated laboratories house state-of-the-art machinery and equipment to test and evaluate material and camouflage characteristics. Where international standards are not available, Saab builds its own test methods. The company also conducts product and material field tests in the harsh environments they are designed for, alongside examining their characteristics; for example, mechanical, fire resistance, adhesion and environmental testing.
With unrivalled signature management expertise and in-house R&D capabilities, Saab Barracuda is uniquely positioned to provide complete camouflage concepts for every level of military application, from the individual soldier to vehicles and entire forces.
A Global Footprint
Saab Barracuda holds about 90% of the mobile camouflage market, supplying traditional camouflage to 60% of this market. The company provides innovative solutions to over 45 countries and has held established relationships over more than half a century.
Quality Through Affiliation
To ensure efficient measurement of methodology, sensor threats and field evaluations, Saab Barracuda works with NATO and Germany’s WTD 52, as well as many other key organisations. “Collaboration is important and interoperability is key. The goal is allied interoperability to harmonise test standards and methodology. Countries with a common goal can unify and ensure that they have the same standards of camouflage if they are on the same mission,” Jersblad concludes.
For more information on Saab Barracuda, visit www.saab.com.