War Gaming: British Army unveils new pixelated Minecraft-style ‘digital camouflage’

The British Army has unveiled a new pixelated Minecraft-style ‘digital camouflage’ that makes tanks 80 per cent harder to spot on the battlefield.

Trained soldiers find it far more difficult to see the machines when they are covered with the MCDC 5 design, rather than the usual ‘bog standard green’.

The new pattern is made up of squares that look like scrambled pixels on a digital screen and has slashed the detection rate to 20 per cent.

Officers at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in Bovington, Dorset, launched the project, dubbed ‘Hide, Deceive, Survive’.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Page labelled the tests a ‘big win’ after working with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Tank Museum on the design.

Trained soldiers find it far more difficult to see the machines when they are covered with the MCDC 5 design, rather than the usual 'bog standard green'. Pictured: Two visitors at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in Bovington, Dorset

Trained soldiers find it far more difficult to see the machines when they are covered with the MCDC 5 design, rather than the usual 'bog standard green'. Pictured: Two visitors at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in Bovington, Dorset

Trained soldiers find it far more difficult to see the machines when they are covered with the MCDC 5 design, rather than the usual ‘bog standard green’. Pictured: Two visitors at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in Bovington, Dorset

He told the Telegraph: ‘Young soldiers with fresh ideas, combined with experienced instructors and professionals have attacked it in a different way.’

Major Charlie Brunskill said any additional seconds the camouflage can give could be vital when at war.

He added: ‘If I can delay that targeting cycle, that’s a win… Once an anti-tank team shows itself and goes through that cycle, if I can add three more seconds to that I can perhaps get a shot off first.’

Camouflage has traditionally been similar to the surroundings the Army is operating in, with sand-coloured designs being most common during the Iraq War.

But in recent years forces across the globe have been shifting towards pixilated patterns because they seem more effective at short and long range.

Most tanks attack the enemy from between 300m and 1,000m away, with the ‘digital’ paintwork done to suit this.

The new pattern, which resembles the Minecraft computer game, is made up of squares that look like scrambled pixels on a digital screen and has slashed the detection rate to 20 per cent

The new pattern, which resembles the Minecraft computer game, is made up of squares that look like scrambled pixels on a digital screen and has slashed the detection rate to 20 per cent

The new pattern, which resembles the Minecraft computer game, is made up of squares that look like scrambled pixels on a digital screen and has slashed the detection rate to 20 per cent

Anti-tank systems sometimes use artificial intelligence to target vehicles using their visual or thermal signatures.

But using paint with a wider variation of colours can trick them into seeing the tank as a different type of machine or in a different area.

Curator of the Tank Museum David Wiley said the shift away from a ‘boring standard Nato green’ can also have a psychological effect.

He added: ‘Never underestimate the impact of heavy armour: what it looks like and what its presence is.’

Link hienalouca.com

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