MILAN — The French government’s military-procurement agency has placed an order for thousands of Saab multispectral camouflage nets designed to conceal troops formations’ electromagnetic signature on the battlefield.

The Direction Générale de l’Armement announced in a Feb. 27 release that it has ordered 3,000 multispectral Barracuda camouflage nets from the Stockholm-based defense company.

“Saab’s subcontractor, the French SME Solarmtex, based in Vierzon, France, will carry out their manufacturing and assembly,” the release said.

The order is valued at $21.6 million and the nets are expected to be delivered between 2024 and 2026 to the French Army and the Air and Space Force.

According to the DGA release, the mesh will enhance the discretion of brigade, combined arms and vehicle battle groups as well as other sensitive targets by masking their visible, infrared and radar signatures.

Detection by way of electromagnetic emissions, and subsequent targeting, is a constant danger faced by Ukrainian forces in their defense against Russian invaders.

Saab’s nets are the culmination of a two-year development program between the company, DGA and the Technical Section of the Army (STAT) to meet the French forces’ requirements.

In September, the Swedish company told Defense News that it had integrated its Barracuda camouflage net with a new feature that would change how troops communicate by allowing selected radio-frequencies to pass through the mesh.

“It is integrated with material that acts as a low-pass filter, allowing the selected radio-frequencies of their choice to pass either way through the camouflage screen while also protecting soldiers against higher ones of electromagnetic waves used by radar systems,” Johan Jersblad, senior development engineering at Saab told reporters then during online briefing.

At the time, the Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Screen-Frequency Selected Surface (ULCAS-FSS) was not yet in service, as it was only unveiled at the 2023 DSEI defense exhibition in London. The intention was to eventually mass-produce it in Sweden.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in reporting on the aviation sector. She is based in Milan, Italy.

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