The U.S. Army recently awarded Israeli-based Fibrotex a 10-year indefinite quantity contract, valued at $480 million, for a next-generation camouflage system. The Ultra-Light Netting system uses a proprietary manufacturing process combining special materials and a unique fabric structure that can be applied to everything from uniforms and sniper suits to covers for jeeps, tanks, aircraft, and larger weapons systems.
The technology can be used in various types of terrain, including desert, woodlands, arctic, and even urban environments. According to Fibrotex, it can even provide concealment while vehicles and personnel are on the move. The netting can also be reversed, meaning two distinctly different prints can be readily available when rapidly transitioning to different environments — like going from a woodlands setting to drier, mountainous areas.
Although the composition of the material allows personnel to remain better hidden behind the netting, those utilizing the camo can also maintain a clear view of the enemy and their surroundings.
The biggest driver for the updated camouflage, which had to endure two years of U.S. Army testing and evaluation, was the inability of current materials to protect troops and battle stations from state-of-the-art electro-optical sensors, radar, night vision, and thermal imaging.
Fibrotex’s solution focuses on the thermal technologies employed by these advanced sensing and radar technologies to ensure better troop concealment. The company boasts a 50-year history of developing and supplying sophisticated technology for armies and special forces. Full-scale production is set to begin next year at a manufacturing facility in Kentucky.