At best, the tiles can mimic the heat signature of other objects to make the tank look like something else: a jeep or other small vehicle; a small building; a cow.
Seen with the naked eye, any instrument using the visual spectrum, or radar, and all you see is a tank covered with really smart tile.
BAE is working on that, however. It is trying to make the tiles radar absorbent so vehicles covered with them won't be visible to other targeting systems.
They're also trying to expand the heat-mimicry into the visible spectrum so it might be possible to make the tank look like something else in daylight as well as at night.
So far there are none in the field, and BAE won't say much about what progress it may have made in the radar or visible spectrums.
But if you're ever in a war zone and a cow goes by at 30 or 40 miles an hour, roaring like Transformers in a tractor pull (and blowing things up with a bit of spit cud), swear off beef and go the other way.
The main sponsor and potential customer is the Swedish Defense Material Administration, though the British Defence Ministry and at least some within the Pentagon are also mentioned as possible future customers.
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