Russia just showed off new stealth camouflage that supposedly can change colours rapidly to conceal troops

  • The Russian defence contractor Rostec just demonstrated a stealth camouflaged helmet on Tuesday at the Army-2018 Forum in Moscow.
  • Rostec said the electrically-operated material is able to change colour depending on the camouflaged surface and environment, and can be applied like ordinary paint.
  • Rostec showed off the camouflage coating, although no video seems to exist yet of it actually changing colour, to a next-generation combat suit. Rostec says it can be applied to any kind of base, such as armoured vehicles.

The Russian defence contractor Rostec just showed off a stealth camouflaged helmet that they claim can change colours quickly and even display moving images to better conceal Russian troops.

“The specialised electrically-operated material covering the helmet prototype is able to change colour depending on the camouflaged surface and environment,” Rostec said in a press statement of the helmet displayed Tuesday at the Army-2018 Forum in Moscow. “The material can display dynamic changes of colour intensity and simulate complex images, for example, the motion of leaves in the wind.”

Rostec said that the stealth camouflage coating can be “applied to the base, like ordinary paint, and does not require great accuracy in terms of thickness and uniformity.”

In this case, it was applied to a helmet designed for Russia’s third-generation Ratnik-3 combat suit, which Russia Today previously dubbed the “Star Wars-like” suit, but Rostec says it can be applied to practically anything, even armoured vehicles.

Ratnik-3 Russia Star Wars combat suitRostecThe Ratnik-3 combat suit.

The third-generation Ratnik-3 suit “comprises five integrated systems that include life support, command and communication, engaging, protection and energy saving subsystems,” TASS, a Russian state-owned media outlet, previously reported.

In total, the suit comes with 59 items, including a powered exoskeleton that supposedly gives the soldier more strength and stamina, along with cutting-edge body armour and a helmet and visor that shields the soldier’s entire face.

The first-generation Ratnik suit was reportedly given to a few Russian units in 2013, and some pieces of the suit were spotted on Russian troops in Crimea.

It should be noted, however, that there do not appear to be any video yet of the helmet changing colour, but that doesn’t mean the stealth coating doesn’t work.

“I haven’t seen the system working myself of course, but I doubt they’d be displaying it if it didn’t at least do something resembling what they claim,” Sim Tack, chief military analyst at Force Analysis and a global fellow at Stratfor, told Business Insider.

It’s “not something we expect to see on the battlefield too soon, but as armies move towards more advanced infantry systems including exoskeletons and that type of technology, [it] could be a part of that,” Tack added.

“Even if Russian industry was able to perfect stealth camo and exoskeletons, it would likely be too expensive to fit to ordinary Russian troops, with small numbers of Russian special forces-spetsnaz-the likely recipients,” Popular Mechanics’ Kyle Mizokami wrote on Monday.

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