LONDON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- British military scientists say they're working to develop an army of invisible tanks ready for use on the battlefield within five years.
The armored vehicles will use a technology known as "e-camouflage" that would let images on the vehicle's hull change to match their environment, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
Sophisticated electronic sensors attached the tank's hull would project images of the surrounding environment back on the outside of the vehicle, helping it blend into the landscape and evade attack, the report said.
Until recently such ideas were thought to be the stuff of science fiction, but scientists at the British defense company BAE Systems now think near invisibility will soon become reality.
BAE scientists are also looking at other battlefield innovations to increase troop protection while making vehicles more lethal.
Scientists at BAE are said to be close to developing a form of transparent armor -- much tougher than bullet-proof glass -- which could be used in turrets on the sides of armored vehicles to improve visibility.
A technology called "biometric integration" uses advanced computer programs to analyze crowds and search for potential threats by analyzing suspicious behavior in groups or individuals, the newspaper said.