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Ukraine develops 'invisibility cloak' to protect soldiers from thermal imagery

by Dominic Culverwell October 4, 2023 9:47 PM 2 min read
A finished sample of the "invisibility cloak" hides one of the three soldiers in a video published by Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov. (Fedorov/Telegram)
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Ukrainian developers are looking to bring science-fiction to life with an "invisibility cloak," a lightweight overcoat able to hide soldiers from Russian thermal imagery, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced on Oct. 4.

The "cloak" blocks heat radiation, rendering Ukrainian snipers and special forces teams invisible to thermal imagery scopes and cameras, including drones, when working at night.

The technology is already being tested in the field, according to Fedorov.

“The 'invisibility cloak' is just one of the developments that will help save the lives of our military at the frontline,” the minister wrote.

This isn't the first "invisibility cloak” to be developed. Canadian company Hyperstealth Biotechnology produced a similar design in 2019. But instead of blocking heat radiation, the Canadian design bends, or refracts, light.

The technology was developed under the Brave1 defense initiative. Fedorov called for more submissions to the platform to bolster Ukraine’s battlefield capabilities and enhance its military technology sector.

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Kyiv launched Brave1 in April 2023 to facilitate and fund Ukraine’s growing defense tech industry as well as attract investors.

Participants can submit ideas to the initiative that could benefit Ukraine’s military. After thorough reviews, Brave1 provides successful ideas with grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.

Over 500 defense tech developments are registered on the platform.

Ukraine's Digital Transformation Ministry is one of the initiative's co-founders and has pushed to introduce revolutionary technology on the battlefield.

One of Brave1's priorities is developing unmanned robotics systems including unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to help front-line troops during assaults, the Kyiv Independent reported in September.

Ukraine's defense and security sector is expected to expand in the coming years. President Volodymyr Zelensky said he envisions Ukraine as a global leader in the sector during an interview with journalist Natalia Moseychuk in August 2023.

Last year, the Economy Ministry pinpointed military tech as one of the four key pillars in Ukraine’s economic recovery alongside agriculture, metallurgy, and IT.

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