Saab’s unit Barracuda Camouflage has pitched its products to the Indian Army, for both vehicles as well as individual troops. The firm’s Mobile Camouflage System or MCS was tested at Suratgarh last summer, by the CVRDE (Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment), Chennai and the Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur. The CVRDE makes many of India’s armored vehicles, including the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT)
While normally camouflaged tanks were spotted by six spotters over a distance of 2400 meters, vehicles with the benefit of the MCS were could only be spotted at a distance of 1600 meters. “So then the relative advantage is 800 meters,” says Naresh Ummat, Managing Director of Barracuda Camouflage.
According to Ummat, a global tender was issued in 2007. “We had to study the product and the temperatures involved. We made some preliminary fittings. We gave them three sets of mobile camouflage. While in the field it must perform with the given parameters, it must also adhere to what the company claims in the laboratory,” he says.
The Indian Army, he says, is also interested in the MCS for its T-72 and T-90 tanks. Ummat says the camouflage has already been supplied for Prithvi missiles in the Indian Army.
One feature of this camouflage system is that it works to try and bring the temperature variance of the vehicle and the surrounding environment to within four degrees Celsius.
Barracuda has also offered its individual soldier-specific Special Operations Tactical Camouflage Suiting. This system, when tested by the Indian Army’s Northern Command, denied detection to 45 meters, where ordinarily it was 200 meters. The SOTCS is also available for all kinds of terrain including jungle, snow, desert etc. “We have now been asked for laboratory tests. This should happen in the next two weeks. We should be able to get a consolidated report within a month,” says Ummat, who also expects the army to be interested in MCS systems for 30 per cent of its armored vehicles.