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Pixelated Camouflage to Make British Tanks 80 Percent Harder to Detect (The Defense Post)

A recent trial has shown that a new multi-colored, pixelated coating on British tanks has reduced their detection rate by 80 percent, according to The Telegraph.

The new “Multi-Coloured Digital Camouflage Five” design was 20 percent harder to detect by trained soldiers in comparison with the traditional color, the outlet added.

The design consists of a mix of pixelated blocks of five colors, with different thermal and infra-red properties that work in both rural and urban settings.

 

The army, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Tank Museum, industry, and veterans worked together on the design, which is a part of the Hide, Deceive, Survive Project.

The designers also received input through social media.

“Young soldiers with fresh ideas, combined with experienced instructors and professionals have attacked it in a different way,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Rob Page, Commanding Officer of the Armoured Trials and Development Unit.

Optimum Distance Between 300 and 1,000 Meters

The design works best between 300 meters and 1,000 meters, the outlet reported, citing military officials, adding that this is the range at which most tank battles take place.

The aim of the design is to provide tank operators with a few extra seconds to act first by keeping the machine visually hidden from the enemy within the aforementioned range.

Major Charlie Brunskill stated, “If I can delay that targeting cycle, that’s a win because this thing doesn’t operate on its own.”

“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.”

Works Against AI As Well

The design also works well against combat drones by deceiving the artificial intelligence (AI) operating the aircraft which relies on a vehicle’s visual, thermal, or electronic signature for detection.

The AI can confuse a tank with some other vehicle because of the camouflage design, resulting in the aircraft not wanting to waste its munitions on a lesser value target.

The new design also has a positive psychological impact on soldiers, according to one of the project members.

“It’s just like putting stripes on your car as a kid; it goes 10 percent faster,” Major Brunskill said. “That has an effect on the enemy as well.”

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At Least 6 Killed in Northern Burkina Faso Attack (The Defense Post)

At least six people including two militiamen who back up anti-jihadist security forces in Burkina Faso were killed in an attack in the north of the country, a local elected official said Tuesday.

Requesting anonymity, the official told AFP that late Monday around 100 gunmen attacked the village of Loumbila, some 35 kilometers (20 miles) from Ouahigouya, the capital of the Nord region bordering Mali.

He said six people had been killed “including two volunteers” and three were wounded, including one seriously.

The assailants attacked a health center and the local market and torched several sites, he said, adding that they made off with goods including food and motorbikes.

A security source, offering a “provisional toll” of six dead, said reinforcements had been sent to the region after reports of “violent fighting.”

A local official of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP) confirmed the loss of “two elements.”

The anti-jihadist militia, set up in November 2019, is intended to buttress the country’s poorly equipped and trained armed forces.

Civilian volunteers with the VDP receive 14 days’ training and are then sent out on patrols and surveillance missions, equipped with light arms.

More than 100 volunteer fighters have been killed in combat since January 2020.

Monday’s attack came just a week after President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was sworn in for a second term, vowing to make security his priority.

Kabore acknowledged the scale of damage wrought by jihadists, who extended their campaign from neighboring Mali in 2015.

At least 1,200 people have been killed and a million of Burkina’s population of 20.5 million have fled their homes. Swathes of the country are out of the government’s control.

Monday’s attack in Burkina Faso followed a civilian massacre in neighboring Niger on Saturday that left around 100 dead.

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France Says Kills Dozens of Mali Jihadists, Villagers Say Wedding Party Hit (The Defense Post)

France said Tuesday it had killed dozens of jihadists in a weekend air strike in central Mali, while several villagers and a local group said up to 20 wedding guests were killed by fire from a helicopter.

Social media has been buzzing with rumors since Sunday about events in Bounti, and villagers there told AFP that a wedding party was attacked by an unidentified helicopter.

Separately, French military headquarters told AFP fighter jets had “neutralized” dozens of jihadists in central Mali after the group had been tracked for several days. “The reports relating to a wedding do not match the observations that were made,” an army spokesman told AFP.

With no early statements from French or Malian officials, rumors filled the gap.

Confirmation of reports is difficult in a remote area where many jihadists are thought to operate.

Offensive aerial operations in Mali are mainly conducted by the Malian military or by the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane.

Villagers in Bounti said a lone helicopter opened fire in broad daylight, sowing panic among a crowd gathered for a wedding.

“It was run for your lives,” said Ahmadou Ghana, who said 19 people died, including two of his brothers, and several others were seriously wounded. “We were surprised by the intensity of the strike,” said another villager, Mady Dicko, adding: “The helicopter was flying very low.”

On Sunday, Tabital Pulakuu, an association that promotes the culture of Mali’s Fulani ethnic group, reported an “air strike that claimed the lives of at least 20 civilians” during a wedding.

A French military source who was familiar with Sunday’s operation told AFP: “There can’t be any doubts or ambiguity, there was no wedding.”

“This was a strike that was carried out after a particularly strict, multi-party process on a fully identified armed terrorist group, after collating information, intentions, posture, in a studied area,” the source said.

It remains unclear, however, whether the French military and the Bounti villagers were referring to the same event.

A spokesperson for the 13,000-strong United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Mali, known as MINUSMA, said the force was “not involved” in the events in Bounti.

Escalating Violence

The village lies in the jihadist-infested Mopti region, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the Malian capital Bamako.

The region is the epicenter of a deadly Islamist offensive that began in northern Mali in 2012 and then advanced into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions along the way.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died in the conflict to date and hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee their homes.

But the Bounti deaths come during an apparent uptick in bloodshed across the Sahel.

On Saturday in western Niger, jihadists killed 100 civilians in one of the single largest massacres of non-combattants in the history of the insurgency.

France, which has 5,100 troops deployed across the Sahel, also lost five soldiers to roadside bombs in recent weeks.

Away from the fighting, the village tragedy will raise pressure on Mali’s interim government, which is dominated by figures with army links.

Army officers toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18 after weeks of protests — sparked in part by his failure to defeat the jihadists — before handing over to a caretaker government.

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ISIS – IS Built up Arsenal After ‘Red Flags’ Ignored: Study (The Defense Post)

IS Built up Arsenal After ‘Red Flags’ Ignored: Study

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Analysis

YEMEN – Gunmen Kill 5 South Yemen Separatists: Security Official (The Defense Post)

Gunmen Kill 5 South Yemen Separatists: Security Official

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USA – Two Recent Accidents Ground US Navy Scout Helicopter Drones (The Defense Post)

Two Recent Accidents Ground US Navy Scout Helicopter Drones

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Analysis

TURKEY/AZERBAIJAN – Drone Effectiveness Against Air Defenses, Not Tanks, Is the Real Concern (John Flannelly, The Defense Post)

Drone Effectiveness Against Air Defenses, Not Tanks, Is the Real Concern

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