The Army has tapped Fibrotex USA for its next-generation ultra-light camouflage program with a 10-year, $480 million deal to deliver a system capable of improved concealment from advanced battlefield sensors in all weather conditions.
Fibrotex is tasked with delivering the new Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS) to replace the Army’s legacy camouflage, with work expected to begin in early 2019.
“Today more than ever military forces and opposition groups are using night vision sensors and thermal devices against our troops, but by using Fibrotex’s camouflage, concealment and deception solutions we make them undetectable again, allowing them to continue keeping us safe and save lives,” Eyal Malleron, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.
Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center kicked off the camouflage replacement search nearly two years ago, and earlier this year in March selected Fibrotex, HDT Expeditionary Systems and Saab Barracuda to test their ULCANS offerings.
Fibrotex was officially awarded the ULCANS contract on Oct. 4, a company spokeswoman told Defense Daily.
The U.S. Army tested our best camouflage solutions and the camouflage repeatedly demonstrated the ability to defeat all sensors known to be operating in the battlefield and throughout the electromagnetic spectrum,” Mallerson said.
The company’s ULCANS camouflage is two-dimensional, lighter and more durable, and will be offered in woodland, desert, snow and urban environment configurations.
“Fibrotex’ 2D ULCANS technology provides more persistent IR, thermal & counter-radar performance and offers a greater range of capabilities than known before,” company officials said in a statement. “[We] will deliver the material in reversible designs, allowing for the first time a different pattern and capability on each side, enabling soldiers, vehicles and systems to disappear into light/dark woodland, snow/alpine and desert/urban environments, blending into the terrain in all weather conditions, anywhere on the globe.”
The new camouflage is designed to hide objects on the battlefield across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including infrared and thermal radars.
ULCANS will be produced at Fibrotex’s new vertical manufacturing facility in McCreary County, Kentucky.
“Fibrotex is the only company in the world that has its own unique vertical manufacturing facility creating these systems from A-Z in a one-stop shop allowing us to control our technology, adapt and innovate in-house and most importantly, to provide tailor-made solutions to our clients,” a company spokeswoman told Defense Daily.