Could invisible tanks be part of the battlefield of the future?

Defense company's new tech can hide or disguise vehicles

Is that an M-1 or a Holstein?

That’s the question that might be asked on battlefields of the future if BAE Systems’ new Adaptiv technology takes hold. The technology can make a vehicle invisible in the infrared spectrum, or it can disguise it as something else.

The company said that by using sheets of hexagonal pixels on a tank or other vehicle its patented technology can change the infrared image of the vehicle. On-board cameras can pick up the background scenery and project it on the panels, allowing the vehicle to fade from view, making it a tougher target for threats that use infrared targeting.

Wired’s Danger Room quoted one BAE official as saying the technology can also be used to display other images, including a cow along with the background.

The work is being funded in part by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration.

BAE said it plans to showcase the technology at the U.K. Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition later this month.

BAE eventually wants to expand the technology into other parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum to increase stealth capabilities, the company said. In the future, it could be used on large objects such as ships and buildings.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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