Land vehicles

Could This Be The Future Of Tank Camouflage?

Tests showed the new Multi-Coloured Camouflage Scheme drastically reduced detection and recognition in critical short-range.

A new camouflage project has been launched by the British Army.

The Multi-Coloured Camouflage Scheme (MCDCS) programme was set up after a team from the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) visited British tank units in Estonia.

It was also influenced by lessons from the Royal Tank Regiment's 'Streetfighter' experiment and a long-recognised need to hide, deceive and survive on the modern battlefield.

The camouflage was put to the test at the Army's Armour Centre in Dorset by soldiers equipped with various types of sensing equipment, binoculars and the naked eye.

It drastically reduced detection and recognition in critical short range during the tests, the Army said.

MCDCS is the result of a joint project involving the Dorset-based ATDU, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Tank Museum.

The camouflage scheme drastically reduced detection and recognition in critical short range during the tests (Picture: British Army).

The camouflage scheme aims to decrease detection both by the human eye and artificial intelligence-enabled targeting tools.

According to the Army, operational analysis revealed that, in combat, tanks are destroyed from surprisingly short-range and the preservation of battle-winning capabilities is vital to success.

The MCDCS used information from the Tank Museum on previous camouflage tactics to create the main elements.

This included the 'dazzle' ships of the First World War and the paint and deception projects practised in the Western Desert during the Second World War.

Dstl provided state-of-the-art paint materials promoting low levels of radar detection and high heat dissipation to create the complete MCDCS.

Cover image: Tank with the results of the Multi-Coloured Camouflage Scheme (Picture: British Army).