By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
April 19, 2011
Last updated on 4/20/11.
A German company called Blucher Systems GmbH (Nettetal, Germany) is making and marketing an interesting thermal/IR (Infrared) camouflage/”signature management” fabric technology that can protect whatever it’s covering from being detected by optoelectronic devices, i.e, thermal/IR imagers. This very interesting fabric/material, which utilizes metallized fibers to achieve this unique IR/thermal signature reduction effect, comes in various visible camouflage prints, and can be applied to clothing (including military BDUs and ponchos) and camouflage nets (camouflage netting).
An infantry warfighter wearing Blucher Ghost thermal/IR combat camo fabric will enjoy a greater survival prognosis because, well, we’ll let the company tell it:
A person wearing Ghost® shows reduced infrared emissions and thus a lower radiant temperature. The infrared pictures appear scattered and detection as a human being can be successfully avoided. Significant signature reduction is provided in the UV, NIR and TIR (3-5 µm / 8-12 µm) ranges. In the visual range Ghost® is also highly effective. Coming in various camouflage prints, it can be adapted to all types of countryside. Various background colors with different emission factors are available.
DefenseReview (DR) assumes that Ghost fabric, which weighs only 55 g/m² (350g/12 oz for full garment, comprised of wide jacket and pant) can be manufactured in some of the latest and greatest combat camo patterns, like Crye MultiCam multi-environment/multi-terrain combat camo, the myriad Hyperstealth digitial “Fracture Camouflage“-type fractal geometry C2G camouflage patterns, DCS A-TACS Advanced Tactical Concealment System camo, etc.
Blucher Ghost anti-thermal/IR camo and STS Arms anti-NV (night vision)/near-IR weapons coating/camo would appear to be a good combo for SPECOPS assaulters/operators and snipers.
Blucher Systems’ Spectralflage two-dimensional (2D) anti-IR/thermal camouflage netting product (as in multispectral camouflage) is, according to the company literature on it, “non–snagging, easy to use and with its high tear strength, very durable.” Defense Review is curious as to how Spectralflage multi-spectral netting stacks up against Saab Barracuda infrared/thermal signature-management vehicle camo with regard to anti-thermal/IR combat performance, weight, and cost. DR published a piece on Intermat Stealth anti-thermal camouflage makeup and paint back in early 2005, and we were intrigued by it. A soldier wearing Blucher Ghost fabric could also wear Intermat Stealth makeup for more thorough anti-thermal camo coverage. And, the Intermat Stealth vehicle camo paint can be combined with Spectralflage anti-thermal camo netting, whereas the Saab Barracuda anti-thermal camo netting would appear to be a directly-competing product.
In DR’s opinion, multispectral combat camouflage technology that incorporates both anti-NV and anti-thermal/IR camo tech is necessary for future warfare in the 21st Century, particularly for military Special Operations Forces (SOF) (including snipers/long-range-interdiction specialists), as you can’t truly own the night without it. Modern military infantry combat forces can’t afford to stop at camouflage that only works in the visible light spectrum, since more and more countries and malevolent forces are acquiring both night vision and thermal/infrared imaging devices, as time marches on.
If you don’t own the night, you don’t own the battlefield (Copyright David Crane 4/19/11).
It should be noted that Blucher Systems also manufactures Saratoga CBRN protective fabric, which can be used to make military camouflage CBRN BDUs. However, we don’t know whether or not it can be integrated with the Ghost anti-thermal/IR-detection technology. Blucher Saratoga fabric is already being used for the U.S. military’s Joint Protective Aircrew Ensemble (“JPACE”) and the German Bundeswehr’s IDZ-BS CBRN BDU for their “Infantryman of the Future” program. “CBRN” stands for “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear”.
Image(s) Credit: Blucher Systems GmbH
Company Contact Info:
BLÜCHER SYSTEMS® GmbH
41334 Nettetal Germany
Mettmanner Straße 25
40699 Erkrath, Deutschland
Tel: +49 (0) 211 92 44-0 | Fax: -211
Vice President, Marketing
Direct Phone: +46 493 14805
Mobile Phone: +46 734 180 018
Main Phone: +46 13 180 018
Email Contact Page: http://www2.saabgroup.com/en/_functions/MailForm?contact=1048
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