• 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
Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
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
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
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
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,621
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd