British Army snipers have field-tested a new high-tech stealth material which hides them from surveillance technology.
Troops from Edinburgh-based light infantry regiment 3 Rifles had the opportunity to test out the new Vatec material to construct concealed hides for snipers while on exercises in the US.
Corporal Tyrone Hoole, called the material “an absolutely brilliant piece of kit.”
“The lads are desperate for the Army to buy it. Instead of carrying chicken wire, spray paint and thermal sheets we can use this one item, which is really light,” he told Forces News.
Even more advanced technology is reportedly being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It will use techniques based on the natural abilities of chameleons and squid to disguise themselves.
“If you put a pattern designed for the forest into the desert, it is not going to function. Dynamic camouflage would allow soldiers and their vehicles to adapt to their surroundings instantly,” a professor of engineering at the university told the Mail on Sunday.
Earlier in March a former RAF officer and legal expert warned that some stealth technology could breach the laws of armed conflict.
Former RAF Commodore William Boothby said technology which deceives the enemy in certain ways could be illegal if one party uses stealth abilities to appear as a non-combatant by making his weapon invisible and uses that appearance to gain a deadly advantage.
“A combatant whose weapon is rendered invisible by its coating is arguably not complying with the minimal requirements [of carrying a weapon openly],” Boothby claimed in a report in the journal Weapons and the Law of Armed Conflict, due to be published by Oxford University Press this month.
Such a move could leave the disguised combatant liable according to what the Geneva Convention terms a “prohibition of perfidy.”