Four STRYKER vehicles have been integrated with MCS
The US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment is carrying out an assessment of Saab Barracuda’s Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) integrated onto its STRYKER fighting vehicle, which the company hopes will encourage the service to find the required funding for a full acquisition.
The unit is stationed in Vilsek in Germany, and although it has carried out some controlled environment assessments of the camouflage system previously, this will be the first field evaluation of MCS by the army. The testing will take place during operational training carried out at Hohenfels in German during NATO’s Operation “Atlantic Resolve “and “Enhanced Forward Presence” missions.
While the system has piqued the interest of the army, there is no official requirement for a multi-spectral camouflage capability within the service as of yet.
“Right now there is no written requirement for this camouflage,” Scott Caldwell, Director of Business Development at Barracuda, told media at a briefing on 11 May. “Often it falls just below the priority line. Our next step is to validate the requirement at the unit level…to support the acquisition office.”
Caldwell said there is, “huge support,” from the end user, as they like the simplicity of the system and the added survivability. “It gives them those crucial minutes and seconds to make a decision,” he noted.
Four STRYKER vehicles have been integrated with MCS, which took less than 24h to complete, Caldwell added.
An evaluation will be carried out over 60 days, he said, which is expected to conclude by the end of June. Saab is hoping that production for the army could begin later this year, however there are a number of hurdles to overcome before then, including allocating funds.
Additionally, US regulations mandate that any textile product – of which there is an element in MCS – must be wholly produced in the US, so this also needs to be established to support development for the army.
“[Regarding] the anticipation of a contract, there has been a lot of interest in that,” he said.