HMS Tamar has emerged from her recent maintenance period at A&P Falmouth with a new with a ‘dazzle’ paint scheme. This form of warship camouflage dates back to the First World war and makes visual warship recognition more difficult.
The dazzle paint comprises 4 different shades of grey and over 200 litres of paint were used on HMS Tamar. This has more than just the obvious PR value, there is some minor operational advantage to be gained and several other navies around the world that conduct littoral operations make use of this camouflage. The ship can obviously be detected on radar or via infra-red sensors but when seen visually, the paint scheme helps break up the shape of the vessel. The dazzle effect is most effective in disguising a ship when on the horizon or when against the background of a shoreline, particularly at dawn or dusk.
The Cornish and Devonian Lion image derived from the ship’s crest has been re-applied to the ship’s side and Tamar will continue to be the most distinctive OPV in the fleet. The Commander of the Overseas Patrol Squadron has said the intention is to repaint all the Batch II OPVs in this way.
Prior to her maintenance period (and new paint scheme)HMS Tamar and Royal Marines of 42 Commando conducted experiments with the Take on Gravity Jet Suit for potential use in boarding operations.