The U.S. Army says it will develop technology to block the heat signatures of ground troops and armored vehicles. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley said the future of warfare, in which soldiers will operate in a “highly lethal” environment, demands that the service develop the means to hide its soldiers.
Milley made these comments in front of the House Appropriations Committee. Responding to a member of Congress, Milley said: “We know that adversary [target] acquisition systems are very, very capable in that, if you can see a target with precision munitions, … you can hit a target. So camouflage systems that break up electronic signatures and break up heat signatures are critical.”
For most of the history of warfare, soldiers needed only camouflage themselves against the human eye. This involved hiding from view or breaking up the profile of a human, tank, or other object to make it more difficult to pick out.