In the trenchesStealth overcoat hides military equipment

Published 26 July 2010

BAE developed “stealth coating” for military vehicles; the coating makes vehicles and equipment in the field much harder to spot not only visually, but also offers vehicles and equipment protection against detection by radar and thermal imaging devices

A revolutionary “stealth overcoat” developed by BAE Systems scientists and engineers makes military vehicles and equipment in the field much harder to spot. The “three-way” material covering is unique in that it offers not only visual camouflage, but protection against detection by radar and thermal imaging devices.

BAE says that the stealthy fabric cover is a combination of radar absorbent material and infrared radiation dampening technology that helps keep equipment hidden from traditional long and medium range detection techniques.

Its development comes in response to the increased availability of detection sensors, especially those using infrared technology that use the heat an object gives off to identify it.

All vehicles give off a specific heat and radar signature. The company says that by distorting these signatures, its stealth technology can make vehicles considerably more difficult to detect via the detection equipment available to a potential adversary.

Steve Elwell, Director Business Development and Strategy said: “We believe that the stealth overcoat could dramatically reduce a vehicle’s infrared signature and significantly reduce its radar footprint to a degree that confuses detection systems. Crucially for soldiers in the field, the covering is lightweight and ultra-thin and can be fitted to a vehicle in minutes.”

The stealth overcoat is simple to produce and can be created in a range of camouflage patterns to further help the vehicle blend into its surroundings.


The material is also tough enough to withstand harsh combat conditions. To make life more comfortable for operators, the material is also resistant to “solar loading”, the build-up of heat that occurs in vehicles that sit in the sunlight.