• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
New army camo 'can fool night vision goggles'
A soldier wearing the new uniform in a field of scrub. Photo: Bundeswehr

New army camo 'can fool night vision goggles'

The Local · 2 Feb 2016, 16:30

Published: 02 Feb 2016 16:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Feb 2016 16:30 GMT+01:00

The Bundeswehr Scientific Institute (Wiweb) has been working on the new design for several years, and now believes it finally has a replacement for the traditional Flecktarn pattern, the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported on Tuesday.

A variety of sample camouflage uniforms, with current Bundeswehr desert camo on the left and the new pattern on the right. Photo: Bundeswehr

With a larger percentage of the surface devoted to sand colours, the new pattern – which is designed to be used in all kinds of different environments – is more useful in desert areas like Afghanistan, where more than 800 German troops are deployed.

A German soldier wearing "Flecktarn" pattern camouflage in Afghanistan in 2011. Photo: DPA

Developer Alexander Dietel told the SZ that he saw his job as one of creating the best "protective work clothing" for the soldiers.

"It's no different from the fire service. You adapt the clothing to the requirements," he said.

'Camouflage philosophy'

Dietel's new design is influenced by other nations' camouflage, as well as photos of natural environments which he experimented with in Photoshop.

Squared and pixelated patterns – such as those used by parts of the US military – were discarded in favour of one that more closely resembles past German uniforms.

"Every country has its own camouflage philosophy," Dietel told the SZ. "Every pattern has a certain recognition value. You can see straight away that it's a British or a German soldier. And that's how people want it."

British soldiers (l and r) playing football with German soldiers (m) in Kabul, Afghanistan on the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914. Photo: DPA

The new clothing also has one extra-special advantage: it provides better camouflage in the infra-red wavelengths of light used by most night-vision and light-amplification devices.

But that doesn't mean that soldiers will be totally invisible in the dark, as it's almost impossible to hide a person's body heat against variable background temperatures outdoors.

Story continues below…

Dietel refused to explain exactly how his new pattern helps at night – for obvious security reasons.

Soldiers will also enjoy a new, more "modern" style of tailoring in the new uniforms – although ordinary troops will be waiting a bit longer than special forces units.

"It's a question of costs [when the new uniforms are given to soldiers]," Dietel said. "We just do the basics here [at Wiweb] and make sure that the soldiers have the best possible things available that work well."

SEE ALSO: Luftwaffe jets grounded at night by software bug

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

'Idiot' youth lets regional train drive over him as dare
Photo: DPA

In a stunt police have described as "incomprehensible idiocy," a drunk young man from Munich lay down on the tracks in front of a fast-moving train and let it ride over him.

'Unfriendly' Germans make expat life harder: report
Photo: Pexels.com

Expats in Germany generally find it great for families and starting a career, but were turned off by the language barriers and "unfriendly" Germans upon arrival, according to a new report.

Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,431
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd