Mechanized Camo Net Systems

shin_getter

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With the massive growth of ISR systems, countermeasures needs to be enhanced to keep up.

I think massed deployment of camo nets have potential in degrading PGM effectiveness. It can also prevent satellites (even civilian!) from observing just about everything in the small wars today, especially when one is attempting some kind of plausible deniability.
base8.jpg


Now, such tactics are by no means new as one can see in the photo. However it appears under utilized somehow.

I think the difficulty in setting the nets up and cleaning them up after being bombed might have something to do with it.


So has anyone developed engineering equipment/system that enables rapid deployment to cover huge volumes and so on? This ability would be important when blending into the natural environment is unlikely, however preventing observation of what is under it still works. Bonus points for system that work in urban environments, instead of having folks improvise as in Marawi.
 
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riggerrob

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Good question!
When working with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, we had to erect camo nets everytime we stopped for a few hours. Erecting camo nets was labour-intensive. Nets always seemed to snag on silly little things like the wing nuts for rear-view mirrors.

More recently, I was contemplating hanging camo nets over a Hobbit-style camper trailer. This camo concept is more about civilian "stealth camping."
The first step is installing powered masts to lift camo nets high enough to distort the trailer's silhouette.
The second challenge is arranging a winch system that will rapidly re-stow camo nets in a locker - for driving along roads. The perfect winch system completely stows camo nets within one minute after you press a button.
Hah!
Hah!
That will require a few years' development!
Hah!
Hah!
Though crew would still have to manually drive tent pegs to hold net edges well clear of the vehicle, tie ropes to fences, etc.
The greatest challenge is a winch and mast system that will change profile at random ... to further confuse observers.
 

Jemiba

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Maybe a silly question, but ...
In the times, the photo in the first post was taken, camo nets were against optical recce only, which was sufficient back then.
Are modern camo nets effective against radar, too ? Should be easy, when using the right materials. Perhaps more developed
examples could even cover, at least partially, IR radiation, maybe by being heated to present a surface with homogenous temperatures,
so hiding point targets below ?
 

TomS

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Maybe a silly question, but ...
In the times, the photo in the first post was taken, camo nets were against optical recce only, which was sufficient back then.
Are modern camo nets effective against radar, too ? Should be easy, when using the right materials. Perhaps more developed
examples could even cover, at least partially, IR radiation, maybe by being heated to present a surface with homogenous temperatures,
so hiding point targets below ?

Modern camouflage netting is generally billed as multi-spectral, providing camouflage across UV, visual, multiple IR, and radar frequencies.
 

Jemiba

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Thank you for that information !
So no looks under the net from above. If collated with geo data, it should be near impossible to hide
a bigger object then nevertheless, I think. Even small hills generally don't pop up on their own.
 

Purpletrouble

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Maybe a silly question, but ...
In the times, the photo in the first post was taken, camo nets were against optical recce only, which was sufficient back then.
Are modern camo nets effective against radar, too ? Should be easy, when using the right materials. Perhaps more developed
examples could even cover, at least partially, IR radiation, maybe by being heated to present a surface with homogenous temperatures,
so hiding point targets below ?

Modern camouflage netting is generally billed as multi-spectral, providing camouflage across UV, visual, multiple IR, and radar frequencies.
Not convinced on radar - afterall there aren’t many radars that look down on ground vehicles?

The cam nets I tore my hands on were mentioned as IR, but that was apparantly significantly degraded by sunlight exposure (as the IR protection of combat clothing is by washing with detergent) and of course the stuff we had was always old and so on.
 

Purpletrouble

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Good question!
When working with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, we had to erect camo nets everytime we stopped for a few hours. Erecting camo nets was labour-intensive. Nets always seemed to snag on silly little things like the wing nuts for rear-view mirrors.

More recently, I was contemplating hanging camo nets over a Hobbit-style camper trailer. This camo concept is more about civilian "stealth camping."
The first step is installing powered masts to lift camo nets high enough to distort the trailer's silhouette.
The second challenge is arranging a winch system that will rapidly re-stow camo nets in a locker - for driving along roads. The perfect winch system completely stows camo nets within one minute after you press a button.
Hah!
Hah!
That will require a few years' development!
Hah!
Hah!
Though crew would still have to manually drive tent pegs to hold net edges well clear of the vehicle, tie ropes to fences, etc.
The greatest challenge is a winch and mast system that will change profile at random ... to further confuse observers.
You wouldnt need a completely random system - just a load of preprogrammed settings. A simple softwar algorithm would select them to cause variation.

Although bear in mind movement is the primary way to be seen so once set up you are probably best leaving it alone!
 

TomS

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Not convinced on radar - afterall there aren’t many radars that look down on ground vehicles?


Sure, there is plenty of old cammo net out there. But the newest stuff, yes, often has at least some radar masking built in. There are more than enough radars out there for vehicles to worry about, whether missile seekers or battlefield surveillance radars on helicopters or UAVs.



 

Gerard

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No real point in doing camo for factories etc now, compared to WW2. Their location is in every map / GPS. And that's before the miles of satellite pics, or FSB / GRU.

For tanks / AFVs, yes, at a local level it can be very useful.

Always thought that rather than all these big tent city field HQ pics, could be an idea to set up them up on 8x8 heavy trucks with a folding side section to provide a cover between 2 vehicles. Quick to set up, quick to take down to move out fast.

And to those who don't like trucks for that role, remember that they'll have at least the same mobility as the wheeled logistics part of the force.
 

Purpletrouble

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No real point in doing camo for factories etc now, compared to WW2. Their location is in every map / GPS. And that's before the miles of satellite pics, or FSB / GRU.

For tanks / AFVs, yes, at a local level it can be very useful.

Always thought that rather than all these big tent city field HQ pics, could be an idea to set up them up on 8x8 heavy trucks with a folding side section to provide a cover between 2 vehicles. Quick to set up, quick to take down to move out fast.

And to those who don't like trucks for that role, remember that they'll have at least the same mobility as the wheeled logistics part of the force.
UK uses that already - Most AFV Command variants have tents that attach to them and are carried by them to provide additonal space. Ditto the ubiquitos land rover! These usually attach into the core tented sections allowing the vehicle to be absent.

Cost is the reason for not having a more portable system - the tent city ones are far cheaper and tend to be things that dont need to move that fast.

The Serbs were masters at cam - hence the Kosovo Air campaign being so far wrong in what it thought it had hit vs the little it actually did. They used small generators and radiators to mimick heat signatures and their disguising of actual vehciles was superb. Had a series of briefs on it all years back and it made us feel like absolute amateurs.
 

shin_getter

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In the modern era, I don't think blending into the terrain via camo is viable in a lot of cases. What is more likely to work is simply have have so many plausible positions as to make heavy demand of opponent ISR and Strike capabilities.

I was envisioning some kind of vehicle with automation that can rapidly set up dozens of vehicle hiding tents (most if not all left empty). Combine it decoys and enemy strike complex have a significantly harder problem. It can also help with airfields and field bases.
 

shin_getter

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I was envisioning some kind of vehicle with automation that can rapidly set up dozens of vehicle hiding tents (most if not all left empty). Combine it decoys and enemy strike complex have a significantly harder problem. It can also help with airfields and field bases.

Folding Carport (image to prevent link rot in the future)
Carport.jpg

Source of idea attributed:
View: https://twitter.com/EvstPalaiologos/status/1529336352961089536



God, every army needs to buy a dozen of these for every vehicle they have. (with proper fabric, anchor solution and fold mechanism to make it even more compact)

Might even make sense as a crowdfunding object

Hundred(s) of vehicles could have been saved from UAV grenades and artillery in the most recent conflict alone.

Also, trenches and foxholes need to be covered from aerial observation at the earliest moment, and should not wait for attempts at assembling hard cover.
 
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shin_getter

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There is some potential there for sure but you don't want to leave vehicle crews blind.
Many vehicles are parked a lot of the time, and many are hit by long range fires.

But that is not imaginative enough. The alternative question is having standardized tent sizes that cover vehicles on the move, and have cut outs for sensors. signals/lights/etc, with kits that enable drive via camera. This way every vehicle ranging from civilian shitboxes up to high value command, artillery, and electronics warfare vehicles would look exactly the same on the outside with a tent covering it.

If it is impossible to hide the presence of vehicles due to absence of top cover, one can deny identification by making every vehicle look the same. It can be easier to make expensive vehicles look like decoys via vismod than make expensive decoys with complex geometric shapes since the latter have to outnumber the former by a large margin.
 

riggerrob

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I was thinking more in terms of rods and flexible wands to extend camo nets. When its time to move, winches and folding struts quickly collapse and stow those nets. The goal is for the driver to push a single button, then just do a quick walk-around to confirm that all of the auto-straps are tight.
Did I just invent a new term: auto-strap"?????
 

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