A Sneak Suit is a highly specialized type of camouflage first pioneered during the Star League era which, unlike passive camouflage clothing, actively assists the wearer in avoiding detection. Spurred on by the development of practical and inexpensive Remote Sensors such as infrared detectors and portable radar units, sneak suits were designed to allow the wearer to become practically invisible to such devices. While effective in this role sneak suits do have a number of limitations. They must be worn as the outermost layer of clothing and completely cover the person's body to be effective. Due to the delicate nature of their systems any sizable tear in the sneak suit will compromise its integrity. Finally the sneak suit is unable to conceal carried equipment larger than a rifle and/or whose combined weight totals more than three kilograms.
Sneak Suit Types
A number of different sneak suits exist depending on the type of camouflage effect required.
Camo Sneak Suit
The electronic camouflage suit helps prevent observation through visual methods, including the use of cameras and Rangefinder Binoculars. Sensors in the suit detect the color and amount of light in the immediate area, then passes that data along to a built-in analytical computer which changes the suit's color to match its surroundings. While this camouflage effect helps hide the individual in combination with other terrain, such as standing in front of a wall or within a forest, it provides no benefit if they happen to stand out on an open plain. The effect is also lost if the individual begins making rapid movements, such as sprinting or evading an opponent's attacks.
IR Sneak Suit
The infrared suppression suit is designed to evade detection from heat-sensing gear such as I/R Scanners or Rangefinder Binoculars in Infrared mode. In addition to being constructed from heat-absorbing material the suit also incorporates heat sensors, located in strategic areas throughout the suit, which register the temperature in the immediate area. This data is then used to adjust the suit's heat output to match the surrounding environment. For example in a cold climate the suit reflects environmental heat and slowly dissipates the wearer's body heat, while in a hot climate the suit absorbs and stores the heat of the environment and the wearer.
ECM Sneak Suit
The electronic-countermeasures suit works to conceal the wearer from electronic sensors that emit and detect signals. It consists of a lightweight ceramic mesh containing thousands of electronic suppression/detection devices. These devices detect incoming signals and feed the information to an integrated microcomputer, which identifies the incoming signal, selects an appropriate countermeasure signal, and commands the devices to transmit that signal. The suit will also inform the wearer when there is active electronic detection in the area; for example the suit's left hand will vibrate slightly when it is jamming radar.
Combination suites incorporate two or more different stealth capabilities into one suit. While increasing the stealth capabilities of the wearer these combination suits are much harder to acquire and more expensive than a normal stealth suit.
- LosTech: The MechWarrior Equipment Guide, pp. 55-56, "Sneak Suites"