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New Russian Chameleon Camouflage Unveiled

New RATNIK III chameleon camouflage helmet on display at ARMY 2018 [© Rostec]

Russia’s Rostec State Corporation has this week presented a chameleon camouflage helmet to equip the ‘Soldier of the Future’ at the ARMY 2018 defence expo in Kubinka.


Press Release: Rostec has presented a unique camouflage coating for military vehicles and soldiers’ equipment able to mimic the colour of the environment at the ARMY 2018 forum. The company illustrated the possibilities of the material with a soldier’s helmet made for the advanced, third generation equipment RATNIK*. The chameleon cover is on display at the corporation’s permanent exhibition in Patriot Park.

The specialised electrically-operated material covering the helmet prototype is able to change colour depending on the camouflaged surface and environment. The material can display dynamic changes of colour intensity and simulate complex images, for example, the motion of leaves in the wind. Within Rostec, the development is performed by Ruselectronics and TSNIITOCHMASH.

“Existing types of camouflage do not change their masking properties depending on changes in the background. For example, soldiers will not be seen in a forest against greenery, but they will be visible against sand or snow. An innovative coating created by Ruselectronics provides unique opportunities for masking. We are demonstrating how it works using one element of equipment, i.e., a helmet. However, its application is much broader. It can be used in clothing, weapons, and military equipment,” said Industrial Director of the Armament Cluster of Rostec, Sergey Abramov.

The coating is applied to the base, like ordinary paint, and does not require great accuracy in terms of thickness and uniformity. In particular, this means that repairs can be carried out in the field. The power consumption in continuous adaptation mode is no greater than that of an energy saving lamp. The mass of the coating is just a few hundred grammes per square metre.

In the future, the technology could be applied in civilian sectors as well. For example, in the textile industry, it can be used to create clothing that changes colour and pattern depending on a person’s mood.

* Footnote: RATNIK (WARRIOR) is the ongoing Russian Soldier Modernisation programme first publicly announced in June 2014.

First Generation RATNIK uniform and equipment photographed in June 2014 [© Bob Morrison]

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