WWI-Era Dazzle Camouflage Could Protect Modern Military Vehicles

During World War I, the navies of the world experimented with dazzle camouflage. The odd angular shapes and lines, such as those seen on the British minelayer pictured above, broke up the visual patterns of the vessels, making them harder to see at a distance. Now researchers at the University of Bristol (UK) think that it could still be useful for land vehicles on modern battlefields:

High-contrast dazzle camouflage could throw off an attacker’s perception of a target’s speed by a wide enough margin to cause a miss, the researchers said.

“In a typical situation involving an (rocket-propelled grenade) attack on a Land Rover, the reduction in perceived speed would be sufficient to make the grenade miss where it was aimed by about a meter (3.3 feet), which could be the difference between survival or otherwise for the occupants of the vehicle,” said Nick Scott-Samuel of the University of Bristol.

They arrived at this conclusion by examining the ability of people to perceive the speeds of objects covered variously by dazzle and conventional camouflage patterns. Participants experienced a 7% greater difficulty gauging the speed of the dazzle-covered objects -- which could be enough to save the lives of a significant number of soldiers.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-06/wwii-era-dazzle-camouflage-could-protect-modern-military-vehicles-even-better-old-ones | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Previously: Camouflage to Disrupt Facial Recognition Programs

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Those wacky Brits. Perhaps they've noticed that unlike in WWI, most armor weapons are guided (laser, heat, radar) or stationary (mines, IED), so except for the low tech small arms fire, or the RPG's (which most are fired at close range so the effects of dazzle would be minimal) the paint would just be another fine money making contract for some war company (and it's slew of consultants and the handful of government officials they keep in their pockets) and do little to nothing to cut back on military casualties.
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