Today’s special operators must prepare for combat situations around the globe and against adversaries with increasingly sophisticated technology. Special Operations Command is working to provide commandos with products that help to reduce signature footprints through camouflage, signal reduction and other means, while remaining cost-effective and lightweight.
A 2018 SOCOM report, “Science and Technology – Preparing for the Future 2020-2030: Signature Management,” identifies several possible issues that operators may encounter.
“Consider the notional mission for a small group to insert into hostile territory from the sea, cross overland, strike a target and extract by air to a friendly location, all within one cycle of darkness,” the report said.
Special Operations Command is seeking industry’s solutions for: transporting vessels and individual operators while undetected by radio frequencies, electro-optical/infrared, and acoustic or magnetic sensors or mines; transitioning from sea to land spaces, where different thermal signatures could increase probability of IR detection; and minimizing detection at longer ranges for individuals, communication signals, or physical equipment.