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Eurosatory 2022: Saab unveils Barracuda Soldier System

Saab Barracuda Soldier System. (Andrew White)

Saab unveiled the latest member of its Barracuda camouflage system at the Eurosatory 2022 defence exhibition in Paris.

Designed to protect dismounted personnel from detection by thermal imaging sensors, the Barracuda Soldier System is a lightweight and square-shaped net that can be used in different ways depending upon mission requirements, Saab director Christer Andersson told Janes .

The design of the system follows the proliferation of “airborne thermal sensors” across the modern battlespace, capable of detecting “unprotected soldiers”, Andersson added.

Measuring 2×2 m and weighing 600 g, the soldier system provides protection against ultraviolet, visual imaging system, near infrared, and short-wave infrared detection. However, Andersson conceded that it could not protect the end-user from detection by radar.

The system can be worn as a poncho (attached by buttons to a helmet and/or around the arms), screen, or shelter and can also be attached to additional soldier systems for greater area coverage, which could support the protection of observation posts and sniper hides, Andersson suggested to Janes.

The flame retardant and water repellent system is also reversible, featuring coloured pigments to support camouflage across a variety of environments. Barracuda Soldier Systems are available in urban, woodland, arctic, and desert camouflage patterns. Andersson did not comment on the materials used.

According to Saab, an undisclosed number of systems have been supplied to special operations units from 10 countries for evaluation, providing the company with “constant feedback”. Feedback to date has included the integration of additional pockets, pouches, and other openings, Andersson added.

“The Barracuda Soldier System is lightweight and small, making it easy to carry and store. It's also a cheaper alternative to Saab's Special Operations Tactical Suit (SOTACS) product,” Andersson continued.

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