05 March 2008

Korean Troops to Get Chameleon Uniforms

South Korean soldiers will be kitted out with hi-tech combat gear by 2020 including chameleon-style uniforms which can change camouflage patterns, the defence ministry said today.

The ministry said in a statement it would equip servicemen with new outfits and weapons under a three-phase plan to maximise combat capabilities.

In the first phase to be completed by 2012, the current olive green combat uniform will be replaced with grey fatigues capable of evading enemy infrared night-time search devices.

The uniform will be provided to selected units next year for testing.

A bulletproof helmet weighing only 1150 grams, compared with a US equivalent's 1400-1600 grams, will be issued by 2016.

This helmet, which should be sturdy enough to fend off point-blank pistol shots, is to be fitted with communication devices including headsets and image-transmitting equipment.

Between 2017 and 2020, uniforms will be made of hi-tech material with digital camouflage patterns that can be changed to blend into surroundings. They will have electronic devices and sensors for heating and cooling, and anti-biochemical capabilities.

Small personal computer systems will also be attached.

The military will upgrade combat boots to better protect soldiers against mines and chemical, biological and radioactive agents.

The soldiers will be equipped with an already-developed next-generation rifle, which features laser-based aiming systems and fires bullets that explode over enemy soldiers and scatter shrapnel



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