The US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) stationed in Vilsek, Germany, is conducting a field evaluation of the General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada Stryker 8x8 infantry combat vehicle equipped with a Saab Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) set.
Developed by Saab’s Barracuda business unit, the MCS technology is essentially a tailor-made, multipurpose, multispectral ‘uniform’ optimised in colour, design and properties for all theatres, and designed to enhance the survivability, sustainability and logistics of a wheeled vehicle or tracked platform relative to a specific operational environment or requirement. The MCS system provides a significantly reduced probability of detection visually and from sensors in the near-infrared, short-wave infrared, midwave infrared, long-wave infrared and broadband radar wavebands, including target acquisition and smart ammunition sensors.
2CR will deploy four MCS-equipped Stryker ICV sets during ongoing unit operational training in Hohenfels, Germany, in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and the Enhanced Forward Presence Missions. Atlantic Resolve is a US-led multinational training and co-operation activity designed to demonstrate the US commitment to NATO and the US-European strategic partnership through collective security, and contribute to regional stability in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.
Enhanced Forward Presence is a NATO forward deployed defence and deterrence posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure Alliance eastern member states. Integration of MCS could eliminate field-improvised vehicle camouflage such as cutting up camouflage nets, and obviate the requirement, and associated costs, of repainting vehicles to match alternative operational environments.
Saab and 2CR have worked in close co-operation not only to develop a signature management system that enhances the survivability of the Stryker vehicle, but also to achieve rapid equipping of MCS on the platform, a Saab spokesperson said.
The four Stryker MCS sets are funded and delivered by Saab, while 2CR has supported ongoing testing and training with the systems on the platform. The current evaluation will last about 60 days; this will followed by feedback and a formal evaluation, which is expected by the end of June.
Any MCS procurement by the US Army will need to be manufactured by and sourced from Barracuda in the US, in compliance with the 1994 Berry Amendment – a statutory requirement that restricts the Department of Defense (DoD) from using any available funding for the procurement of clothing, fabrics, fibres, yarns and other made-up textiles (among other items), that are not grown, reprocessed, reused or produced in the US.