Israel’s thermal stealth innovator Eltics unveiled today a short video depicting the results of recent tests where large thermal panels installed on a Land Rover Defender vehicle managed to eliminate the vehicle’s signature, totally masking the vehicle from the thermal sight’s display.
Following a recent investment refuelling the start-up company, Eltics embarked on the development and testing of a full scale prototype of the Black-Fox active – adaptive – multi-spectral stealth system, to be able to mask a complete vehicle (both sides, front and rear). The system employs a thermal camera that samples the background view and a system processor and controller that recreates the necessary effects on the panels, blending the protected object into the background.
The company already raised 2.5 million in funding and plans to attract additional 5 million in the near future, enabling it to pursue the next stage – building and testing a full scale thermal suite in an operational test of the stealth technology. The compamy has embarked on a cooperative development with IMI, with the two companies joining forces in offering thermal adaptive signature management technology with IMI’s hybrid-reactive armor modules. The new combined module designated ‘Invisible Reactive Armor Protection’ (IRAP) will be designed to match a wide range of armored fighting vehicles.
By managing the heat distribution of the panels, the Black Fox system depicts a displayed across the panels, deceiving enemy sensors, therefore, making target identification, acquisition and tracking virtually impossible.
According to Ronen Meir Eltics CEO, the current system is capable of supporting an area 80 square meters of panels. This area will be sufficient to cover a large vehicle, on all sides. This installation will also employ specially designed windows that also minimize noticeable changes in thermal emissions, caused by the cooler transparent areas. The current system covers the entire infrared range, addressing thermal sensors operating in the both 3-5 and 8-12 micron wavelengths.
According to Meir, the company has also tested another function of the system – its ability to change pattern, depicting a different thermal silhouette. This function enables a ‘Black Fox’ equipped tank to ‘look like’ a truck, jeep or APC, or an air defense vehicle or missile launcher to look like an ordinary truck. These functions have significant implications in denying intelligence gathering by the enemy, by totally eliminating potential targets or misleading the enemy to regard such targets as ‘lower priority’ objects. In addition to denying enemy identification by thermal observation, Black Fox is also capable of deceiving or disrupting defending forces from being tracked or engaged by heat or Imaging Infra-red seekers.