An Israeli company has recently unveiled a redesigned camouflage net that it claims can make soldiers virtually invisible. Known as the Kit 300, the camouflage net was developed by survival product manufacturer Polaris Solutions in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD).
Polaris Solutions said Kit 300 is a camouflage sheet that is made out of thermal visual concealment (TVC) material comprising metals, polymers and microfibers.
“Camouflage nets haven’t changed too much in the past 50 years,” said Yonatan Pinkas, director of marketing for Polaris Solutions. “We wanted to bring in a new type of material. So TVC was born.”
The Kit 300 is a lightweight and rollable sheet that can provide soldiers with “multispectral concealment.” This makes their detection by enemy forces extremely difficult with the naked eye or even with thermal imaging equipment. (Related: Breakthrough in invisibility technology: Scientists have created a material that allows light waves to pass straight through.)
The new TVC is also double-sided. Each side has its own colorization, allowing soldiers to blend into different battlefield environments. One side is meant to be used when the soldier is in dense vegetation. The other side is designed for more desert-like settings. Polaris Solution said it will happily customize patterns and coloring based on a military unit’s specific needs.
The camouflage net is also waterproof and can be used in place of a small tent as an emergency shelter in battlefield environments.
Pinkas said the Kit 300 has additional value as an emergency medical item. “It can carry weight up to 250 kilograms, can be used as a splint to immobilize a broken bone and can serve as a hypothermia blanket.”
The Kit 300 can even be molded into solid shapes, allowing it to be used as a stretcher to carry wounded soldiers.
“Someone staring at them with binoculars from afar will not see soldiers,” said Dr. Gal Harari, head of the Detectors and Imaging Technology Branch of the MOD’s Directorate for Defense Research and Development.
During combat situations, soldiers would wrap the 1.1-pound sheet around themselves when they are on the move. They can join several sheets together to build a camouflage barrier that resembles a rock when it is properly set up. And if they need to move quickly, the Kit 300 can easily be rolled up or folded into a compact bundle and carried.
Polaris Solutions co-founder Assaf Picciotto came up with the idea to create the new TVC technology based on his personal experiences.
Picciotto served with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the month-long 2006 Lebanon War when Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon to stop raids on Israeli land by Lebanese paramilitary organizations.
During the war, Picciotto was in a special IDF unit. He noticed that the soldiers he served with were not adequately protected from the thermal imaging equipment and night vision gear used by enemy forces.
“You have to be better than the enemy and we understood that there were big gaps in the survivability part,” recalled Picciotto.
Picciotto co-founded Polaris Solutions a few years later, in 2010. The company has brought in many IDF veterans, several of whom also had special forces experience.
Polaris Solutions is also working with special forces units in the United States and Canada to bring the Kit 300’s unique technology to North America. Internationally, the Kit 300 is known as the Jag Hide.
“Our products are being tested by some units, which I cannot name, and we have several mutual operations [in North America],” said Picciotto.
For its part, the IDF has already tested the Kit 300 and has added the camouflage sheet to its procurement plan.
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