Weird Science: Invisible Battle Tanks

There was a video that said it all. With a heavy bass sound track. Used the same way they use heavy bass in science fiction movies depicting futuristic high-tech. Because otherwise you might not figure out that this is really edgy and sexy and something our side MUST HAVE to solve that pesky infidel problem once and for all. You heard a hint of weird, non-western music behind it. That was to let you know it is, in fact, the infidel we are dealing with.

Keep in mind the tank is only invisible if viewed through infra-red spyglasses. Still, pretty amazing. Here’s the copy straight from the BAE Systems website:

“Unlike traditional camouflage systems which rely on paint or nets to hide vehicles, ADAPTIV can instantly blend a vehicle into its background. The system can also be used on ships and fixed installations, allowing them to stay undetected by enemy surveillance units.

With the ADAPTIV system installed, a unit has:

  • The ability to blend into natural surroundings
  • The ability to mimic natural objects and other vehicles
  • A significantly reduced detection range
  • IFF capability”

IFF capability? Wikipedia says IFF stands for “Identification Friend or Foe.” The Jersey Shore fans say it stands for “I’m F*cked Foundation.” Take your pick.

What can I add to this story, this topic, this tech? It’s frightening, certainly, but not so much in its present form. The naked eye can detect the tank. Take it to its logical conclusion, though, and things get hairy. How far behind can absolute invisibility be? I can imagine the hell the troops on the ground will one day suffer. And the civilians, of course, walking up on a wide open barrel, not even seeing it.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Lange

No PR today as I observe a round of silence for those who have been caught in the crosshairs of war.

This essay was first posted on December 16 at the Singularity Watch Blog.

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