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Army Brown

Did we discuss this, not sure?

From Akzo Nobel

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) asked AkzoNobel – makers of paints and coatings such as Intergard, Sikkens and Dulux – to develop a high-tech paint with a colour that would be suitable for the desert environments where most military operations are focused.

The new camouflage paint – known as Army Brown – will replace the sand colour that has been used on Army vehicles since before the Second World War.

To produce the new colour the MoD collected high resolution imagery in Afghanistan and flew rock and soil samples back  to Britain, where  a team at the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory developed a colour optimised for vehicles operating in that environment.

AkzoNobel scientists were then asked to develop a new water-based camouflage coating that conformed with the colour requirements. Developed under the Intergard brand the new Army Brown paint is similar to the tan colour used by the military in the US and Australia. It is designed to provide a better balance between arid, desert-like areas and the green zone with its lush vegetation.

AkzoNobel has developed a special temporary peelable coating which can be quickly sprayed or brushed onto the Army vehicles to provide a quick camouflage change and then peeled off. The revolutionary coating is capable of absorbing chemical warfare agents and stopping them getting through to the vehicle underneath. The contaminated coating can then be stripped off and disposed off. It also protects the vehicles against weathering and corrosion.

AkzoNobel scientists are currently working on further developments which would mean the coating would change colour when it absorbed toxic chemicals, alerting the soldiers that they are under chemical attack. Rather than just absorbing the chemicals it would also be able to neutralise them.

Army Brown is being used on the UK’s Foxhound light patrol vehicles. Army Brown has also been applied to some of the Warrior tracked armoured vehicles deployed to Afghanistan.

The Intergard coating has been developed by AkzoNobel’s aerospace coatings team. AkzoNobel’s Global Market Director Andrew Richardson said:

““We were delighted to be asked to work on the new colour for British Army vehicles and continue our partnership with the Ministry of Defence.
“The new paint colour has been specifically designed for the desert-like environment where most operations currently take place.
“The water-based paint will provide an exceptional performance in the most challenging environments.”

Even the paint is going hi tech, interesting about the peelable nature of it and the level of protection against chemical agents.

British Army Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) in Afghanistan 02


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16 Responses

  1. Good to see people starting to think about chemical threats again. It’s worrying that it is going largely unpunished in Syria due to the ‘Iraq effect’, and the fact that both sides seem to be using them. This could lead to their use becoming more normalised in conflict again.

  2. “suitable for the desert environment where most military operations are focussed…” – I’m opening a book on our next war being in a jungle, a swamp or north of the Arctic Circle then…any takers?

    Gloomy the Bookie

  3. What odds will you give me that the next fight we get into will be at sea and not involve the army at all?

    P.S. Will you do a double on the next two fights involve no UK land combat forces except maybe a handful of the hooligans from Hereford or those awfully nice chaps from Poole?

  4. The easy removal of paint has been common since the introduction of the white snow camouflages generations ago. Tech has gone forward in this regard, of course. Remember the scene in the “The Jackal” movie? :)

    The real high-tech paint jobs include a reduced infrared signature. The dampening of the contrast is apparently worthwhile and on cool vehicles at times spectacular.

  5. The AAC’s R&D flight toyed with removable paint back in the late ’90s. Needed a particular additive to wash it off, so a spot of rain wouldn’t bugger the effect up. Their Lynx looked quite fetching in an all-over medium green finish, the usual stripes are a little fattening. Seems nothing came of it though, as I’ve never seen a different scheme used since.

  6. BB,

    there was – for about 2 days – a totally black Scimitar in 16/5L in Tidworth in early 1986. It was mine, after I told my Tp Sgt that I’d handle the periodic respray. He was deeply sceptical of my interest in mundane stuff, but unaware of my plans. God, it looked cool, especially when I angled the VHF 353 antennae backwards at 45 degrees.

    I got into SO much trouble. My Tp Sgt got a seriously rollicking from the RSM for letting me onto the Tank Park at all. The Colonel said that I had to complete the respray in the more normal green / black scheme at the weekend, on my own, and then do two weeks extras (day on day off as well, which really stretches the punishment and every day you have to bull up your kit), and for about a year afterwards I seemed to pick up every shitty little job for young officers at the Adjutant’s whim. Still, it was a real looker, and the boys thought so as well.

  7. @Red Trousers

    When we were stationed in Hohne in 1984, we carried out a border patrol along the IGB. For a laugh, we added a TV aerials and twin ATGW launchers made from painted buckshee cardboard boxes to each CVR(T) Scimitar. It looked like a brand new vehicle. By the time we got 20 clicks along the border, we had about five different vehicles on the other side of the fence following us taking pictures.

  8. Monty,

    we had similar things going on on border patrols, apparently encouraged from above. We’d normally let ourselves get followed, then the Troop turn off into the Harz and out of sight, then re-emerge in two pairs going in opposite directions for a few miles, then disappear in pairs again and re-emerge in four singletons, then disappear again. We also used to post rolled up porn mags into the mesh fencing at dusk and observe how many lights went out and which paths across the mined zone the VoPos used to rush up to collect them. Decadent western porn was quite attractive to them, enough to completely ignore all of their security orders. The Bundes Grenz Schutz west German LOs used to take particular note of that little bit of fun, and I’m sure the information was of use to the German intelligence services.

    We could – and should – have been much more creative. Get the Yanks to do a BP in the Harz in M1s, do a BP on horseback, erect all sorts of useless lights on poles with loudspeakers making quite quiet odd noises, arrange for a few inexplicable flashes of light repeated in an obviously manmade rhythm. anything to get them scratching their heads.

  9. Herford 4444.

    don’t think I’ve still got the card, but the number to call on sighting remains engraved in the old noggin.

    SOXMIS, BTW. If you want to talk BRIXMIS, it’s talk of G-Wagens with the rear lights blank able by the passenger (vehicle commander and patrol officer) to confuse anyone following. And a quite disgraceful incident in which an enterprising young British officer*** stopped a troop train carrying the then new T-80s by using his catapult to smash the windscreen of the train, thereby allowing all sorts of close up photography by others lurking nearby.

    *** Not me, in case anyone thinks so. Someone else.

    And I’m only bloody 47 TD, not ancient. What is getting increasingly difficult to believe is that all of the Cold War malarkey not only took place in my lifetime, but I was an active participant in it. My children are not old enough to ask about what I did in my youth, but if they ever do, it is going to sound like a completely alien world to them.

  10. Oh yes, anyway, Herford, how about a trip down memory lane with the Herfy Yellow Handbag

    Did you both check out Oviks link in the Scimitar post by the way

  11. Herfy handbags – get 7 of them in the commander’s side bin. You can also get 9 bottles of Famous Grouse into the barrel of a Scorpion, but keep it elevated and stuff some oily rag down there to stop the rattling and any bottles from sliding out. Not as inventive as the Royal Scots who managed to send out to the Gulf several dozen 20 litre water jerry cans completely full of whisky. Nor the sudden interest in male hair grooming products that we used to get in parcels from home while in the Gulf. 40 percent proof, was that shampoo ;) Even my old man sent me some.

    I’m not so enthused about the Oviks as you, but I’m not completely against them. Good for arctic conditions I think, as a replacement for the Ferret or the latest command and liaison vehicle that I can’t remember the name of. But as a recce wagon? No, not for me. Large slab of reflecting glass (and even slab bodywork reflects, especially in thermal). too closed in. Can’t jump in or out very easily. 2 crewmen? Same problems as the DERA Verdi Tech Demonstrator – not enough people. Reversing the thing’s going to be a bugger, what with no mirrors and no commander with his head out. Get a weapons stoppage? The commander can’t access the RWS easily. I see your point about airburst, but recce’s an occupational hazard. Don’t get seen, then you won’t get shelled.

  12. Why no two-colour or multi-colour disruptive pattern?

    Would counter-shading be appropriate on V-hulled vehicles like Foxhound?
    (Where a lighter shade of the same colour is used on the visible underside of the vehicle – reducing the shadow effect, and what could be a sharp contrast along the crease between the vertical upper sides and the tapering lower body.)

  13. @ GNB

    Yep, I’d say doing deserts is probably over. Being a tree person (clocked up the better part of 2 years two-way range time amid big wet trees), I look forward to the dramatic culture shock of all the desert types. No more riding around in vehs for days on end, footborne with resup every 5 or 6 days, no FOB.

  14. Is that Army Brown available in vinyl silk? It would nicely complement the magnolia in my lounge…

  15. RT, a good friend of mine was in the Gulf, and received the obligatory ‘aftershave’ and ‘toothpaste’ in the post, he wrote to and gratefully thanked his parents, his father wrote back, “The toothpaste was Glen Finddich, the Blue Stratos aftershave was Blue Stratos aftershave!”

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