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Saab Global
Barracuda Mobile Camouflage Systems in Woodland, Artic and Desert

Camouflage for all conditions

5 min read

Battlefield terrains differ immensely, from searing temperatures and icy blasts, to rich seasonal colours and the whites of snow-covered landscapes. Each brings different challenges for camouflage to overcome.

Our state-of-the-art camouflage screens from Saab, such as ULCAS, are a disruptive capability multiplier, providing the pre-conditions to win in an exponentially evolving and challenging operational environment.
Military operations often require flexible camouflage for many different objects and situations while still protecting against advanced sensors. ULCAS is an innovative multispectral camouflage net that provides unrivalled signature protection for vehicles and other objects in static positions.

PhD Johan Jersblad
Johan Jersblad, Ph.D and Senior Development Engineer at Saab

The pitfalls of deserts, woodland and the arctic

Deserts pose many problems for camouflage, from extreme heats by day and a significant drop in temperature by night, to uneven surfaces and dust interfering with equipment.

Arctic Camouflage Net

Woodland can be richly coloured and change with the seasons. It can be dense or open and the temperatures can vary depending on how much humidity gets trapped between the trees.

The arctic is by far the harshest terrain for crews and camouflage, with inhospitable sub-zero temperatures and storms, as well as the stark difference between the temperature of snow compared to that of vehicles and people.

Every terrain requires a different type of camouflage. Our expert engineers and skilled scientists understand each setting, having travelled the world, visited an incredible number of deserts, woodlands and snowy settings, and collected samples of their colours, as well as reviewing other aspects like day and night temperatures.

For deserts, we have a library of sand from the majority of them. For maximum protection, you need the best colours to start with. Then you need the net to be a similar temperature to that specific sand.
Woodland is a bit easier. The trick here is to make sure that the net has the same temperature as the background. For example, large tanks generate a lot of heat, so our nets must hide this, especially as the woodland cools at night. Any heat must be removed naturally, such as by the wind. If needed, you can also add natural vegetation to our camouflage to further blend in.
The arctic is by far the most complex environment to work in. Vehicles give off large amounts of heat. We utilise special materials to ensure stealth. Thermal or infrared surveys are the most important thing. Our materials reflect the infrared radiation from the snow, so an observer only sees infrared from the snow and not the vehicle.
Each terrain creates new challenges; therefore, we must think differently and use different textiles and pigments, among other things.

Deceive wherever you please

We closely reviews a customer’s needs before designing, producing and field-testing camouflage that is based on battle-proven solutions to protect troops and equipment in any setting and conflict.

It’s vital that camouflage adapts to its terrain. If it doesn’t, you risk lives and equipment. We examine every aspect of an environment and have libraries of information on each, from their temperatures and colours, to what they are like during the day and night. If the conditions change fast, your camouflage should too, so you or your equipment heat signatures never reveal your position.

Static camouflage – ULCAS

We specialises in a multitude of advanced, adaptable camouflage solutions that protect against all battlefield surveillance sensors.
One such solution is ULCAS, a pioneering multispectral camouflage net with unsurpassed signature protection for vehicles and other objects in static positions. These multispectral properties are not seen in other conventional camouflage nets, and protect against reconnaissance and sensors working in the ultraviolet, visual, thermal infrared, shortwave infrared, near-infrared and radar aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum.

With a 3D surface structure, ULCAS static nets are lightweight, flexible and easy to install. Nature is 3D, so your net should be too. If you want to blend in, you must look like nature. We can tailor the camouflage performance by using an intelligent choice of materials, such as pigments and textiles, to simultaneously adapt the camouflage to its surroundings and meet every sensor threat. 2D limits this.

The nets are cost-efficient, making conventional multiple and single-layer camouflage for different requirements virtually redundant. ULCAS’ non-snagging properties also dramatically increase its service life compared to conventional camouflage.

Signature management is key

Saab’s exclusive signature management is at the core of every product. This technology minimises the contrast between an object and the background, making sensory detection much harder. Signature management decreases exposure and distance identification, forcing enemies to advance closer to your position.

Our experts started with the knowledge that new sensors and advanced detection technology mean more is needed to guarantee that forces stay hidden. Today, our signature management products reduce signatures across the entire electromagnetic spectrum and protect forces from sensor threats, incorporating ultraviolet, visual, near-infrared, short wave infrared, thermal infrared and radar.

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More about Johan Jersblad

PhD Johan Jersblad

Johan Jersblad

Ph.D & Development Engineer

is a Senior Development Engineer specialized in Signature Management at Saab. He joined Saab in 2003 working with radar absorbing materials for ground vehicles. Today, he is working with Signature Management in the whole electromagnetic spectra, from UV to RADAR. Focus is both on material development and measurement methodology. He participates in numerous international collaborations focused on Signature Management within both NATO and EDA. Jersblad holds a Ph.D. in Laser Cooling from Stockholm University.