IMINT: Pandur gets a paint job

I managed to find and capture a series of photographs off of a Spanish language website before someone yanked them off the web. A very short caption that came with the pics stated that they originated from a former DevGroup guy who is now working as a consultant.

The picture shows a Pandur Special Operations vehicle having a camouflage scheme applied to the hull. The sheets hanging on the wall show examples of different types of camo and the empty cardboard rolls in the trash nearby give a hint as to how they digital patterns are applied to the vehicle.

I can speculate on which company developed the camouflage in question but I’m more interested to see what readers come up with. Does anyone have any solid information regarding the above photo?

Kit Up! contributor Jack Murphy is a former Ranger and SF Soldier and is the author of the military thriller Reflexive Fire.

  • James 37F

    My first though on seeing that pic was “what the hell?” but then I noticed the macro digi pattern did a pretty good job of making it hard to discern the vehicles size and shape (not that I’m at all familiar with a Pandur in the first place though). Camo patterns will never hide a large armored vehicle from sight, especially while moving, but I think a pattern like this vs solid tan would do a decent job of making it hard to tell its exact speed and position, making targeting (with a command det IED or RPG or whatever) that much harder.

  • gloggman

    i thought after about ten years of digital camo everybody agreed that the finer the pixels are the better the effect. Pixels of 5 square inch will help nothing.
    it would be cool to see what it would look like like if they put the same camo on there as we wear on our uniforms.

    • Nymike

      It helps disguising from the air, and from troops at great distances. It’s not meant to conceal from RPG distances, but is probably near invisible at the horizon.

  • blight

    One of these days they will apply camo patterns to wheels, but then again they will likely get coated in dust.

    However, for Areas Other Than Desert (AOTD) they will have to think about it.

  • Evul Genious

    I’d like to see this on my Tacoma

  • its just a “PRETTY IN PLAID” design. the disruptive pattern should play major chaos on peoples eyes aiming an rpg7 at it. think of this as a crazy find the 3d picture in a hap hazard pattern type poster you see in magazines. what they should really think of is to spray the exterior of the vehicle with light weight “rhino lining”, the polyurethane stuff used to protect “pick up truck” load beds. it stretches twice its length, is durable as hell and deflects blast as opposed to absorbing it. it wont add major weight and is durable. all in all this pattern is at best an excercize and will likely find itself onto non combat vehicles in non combat zones in countries not in combat. thats my 5 cents worth and i am sticking to it.

    • Riceball

      Where did you get the information on Rhino lining deflecting blasts? Has there been any recorded instances of Rhino linings being used makeshift armor as opposed to just protecting the paint on truck beds? At best, the only thing I can see Rhino lining being used for is as use as form of modern day zimmerit coating like the German tanks used during WW II as protection against magnetic mines.

  • chaos0xomega

    If anyone does figure out who makes this stuff, let me know. Would make sweet wallpaper.

  • Benn

    I remember I was told that painting my rifle with larger color patterns would prevent it from looking like a “smudge” from longer distances. I am curious to see what this looks like from 500 M or so.

  • Flippy

    In the 80’s our, the British, Berlin Brigade developed a vehicle pattern nick named ‘Rubicks Cube, this involved painting all the vehicles in solid blocks of colour, black brown grey etc, very effective in their operating environment….PITA to apply no doubt.

  • Lance

    Thats a BAD camo job! the ACU was a failed camo anyway why paint a vehicle in that awful color?

    • txcitizensoldier

      I believe you’re referring to UCP, not ACU- which this is not. It more closely resembles the desert version of MARPAT. Its also not intended to be an invisibility coating. As other people have already mentioned from a distance this camo certainly won’t hurt its chances of avoiding detection. Who knows, it may even have fancy IR signature reduction capabilities as well.

      • Jeff

        Lance, are you uh… colorblind, perhaps?

  • xpoqx

    IDK about the rest of the site… But I think that scheme on that vehicle looks damn fine. I would like to believe it would disrupt it’s silohete on the distant horizon or from the air.
    Not to mention the fact that it looks bad*ss in it’s own respect, I might do up rifle in that pattern.

  • tomaso

    could this design be more useful against drone like aircraft? were the pilot is looking at a pixilated screen…i think that is were this camo will really show its merit.

    Also about rhino lining…if applied thick enough it will hold up against (small)explosions and protect against schrapnel…check it out on youtube…iv worked on truck with it…and it is a B*TCH to remove,

  • Joe

    Nobody mentioned the Shop-Vac in the background!

    Red on Black, classic!

    • SomeJoe

      LOL . that’s funny

  • Ethan

    The pixelated Camo is stupid. There are no right angles in the wild. When you do see a right angle it sticks out like a sore thumb and you immediately know it’s man made. Idiotic Camo design.

    • Nymike

      It doesn’t look like a right angle at distance, it looks like pixels which blend together.

  • tomaso

    Ethan…there is plenty of right angles in the “wild”…but what ur missing is how this would look at a distance or threw a vieo monitor like what a controller sees while flying a drone plane.

  • Boofa

    Australia’s been using digital style camo scheme for its tyre and load covers for atleast the last 20 years, and its worked great from my experience.

  • Steve

    I recall a company on the internet was talking up the merits of rhino linings as a light weight armor, during the early IED undearmored hummer days in Iraq. There was even some engineering data supporting their claim. Some units who were hillbilly armoring their hummers were spraying the stuff on themselves

  • FormerDirtDart

    Rhino Lining Military Applications:
    Battle Jacket- (exterior application for fuel storage tanks)
    Blast Mitigation-(application for structures)
    Composite Armor-


      Rhino Lining and sprayed on bed liners aren’t a proper armor but they have the benefit of being elastic (sorta), tough, and not wanting to let whatever it’s on fragment.

      It’s being sprayed on fuel tanks right now to help the tanks seal in the event of a hit (sorta like self sealing tanks in aircraft) and also if the fuel or the vehicle starts burning it helps limit any potential explosion or “cook off”.

      I’ve also seen it sprayed on armor plate and the like as someone mentioned earlier.

  • FormerDirtDart

    Personally, I believe the painting of intricate camouflage patterns on vehicles is a waste of time and effort. By the time a combat loaded vehicle hits the road, it looks like a member of a gypsy caravan, with all the gear and crap externally stowed.
    More likely tactically sound, and cost effective, to paint a vehicle a single base color, and drape camouflage netting, of appropriate coloring, over the exterior and stores.

    • Riceball

      Camo netting really only works when the vehicle is stationary and doesn’t work well draped over the vehicle either. I don’t know if you’ve ever had any experience with camo netting or not but for it to work you need spreaders to prop the netting up so that its up an off of any vehicles and/or structures, this is so that you create a lumpy shape that (hopefully) blends in with the terrain, draped over a vehicle you’ll still the silhouette and outline of the vehicle. The other problem with draping camo netting over a vehicle is that it gets caught on everything and anything meaning that your gear is now a pita to get at because you have untangle the camo netting from it and if you have a turreted vehicle it’s going to interfere with the turret traverse and get in the way of the gun elevating. This is why you always see camo netting rolled up on the back of vehicles when not in use, to get it out of the way.

      On the other hand, I do feel that all that gear and crap on the outside of the vehicle only helps to break up the outline of the vehicle and adds a certain measure of additional camouflage to it.

      • FormerDirtDart

        My experience with camouflage netting only comes from 20 years of service. So I probably don’t have a clue about it.

  • SomeJoe

    If you go to an auto decal and stripping shop…they can probably make this pattern for you. I’ve had custom made ” support our troops”(obviously a much simpler task) decals made for a heavy truck. They weren’t tiny. Of course this is decal and not wallpaper…but they can do it by the roll. I don’t want to speculate on the cost….and it’s just a suggestion to research.

  • SomeJoe

    I’ve seen a pattern like that in a magazine. I was blown away at how effective it was. One picture was a tank with dozer blade sitting at the end of an alley. It took me a few seconds to realize it was a tank. It blended right into it’s environment. It made me rethink camo patterns, at least in an urban environment. I still have that mag somewhere but can’t find it. It was an interesting article and maybe it needs to mentioned here.

  • SomeJoe

    I was wondering how long it was going to take before someone “did the digital” to a vehicle. After this many years of digital patterns being out and in use by numerous units, it only seemed like the next logical step for vehicle camouflage. I’m not surprised that a DevGrp was involved in this, however, I really thought it would be the U.S. that got on this first.

  • CBee64

    By the look of that vaccum , that has to be in North Carolina somewhere. Also – there are only a few legitiment groups that can house that vehicle. That looks like a MW product , but who knows….. I am just a retired navy guy trying to make a buck or two.

  • Billy

    That is Bad *** “Tetris” camo!!!

  • The stuff being used by several European armies right now is die-cut camo fabric with thermal properties which is tailored to the vehicle’s profile, like a conformal camo net. It doesn’t hide a vehicle like a static net will, but it looks a deal more natural than flat paint and hard angles on a regular camouflage painted vehicle. I believe it’s made by Saab-Barracuda (part of BAE Systems), who also make the Aussie tyre covers mentioned earlier. See pic:

    • FormerDirtDart

      I’m aware of Saab-Barracuda vehicle coverings, with which a marriage of Hyper-Stealth’s “SmartCamo” seems logical.

      However, all to often you still end up with piles of uncamouflaged exterior stores.

  • Lots of wrap companies carry generic digital patterns like this, alongside Realtree patterns and similar. I doubt this has been designed by camouflage professionals (or at least, not tailor made for this vehicle), since the pattern has not disrupted the major axes formed by the overall shape. The design shown is just for cosmetic effect, and little better than just randomly spraying the vehicle with 3 shades of Krylon.

  • Guest

    How man of those Pandurs are still in service I wonder? I remember that 50 was the original order but it was later reduced to something around 14.

  • smith

    Mexico uses something similar on their Humvees. You could probably find pictures online of them as well. We see them in the news fairly often here in El Paso.