The United States will have a new binocular night vision system for its troops
WASHINGTON, (BM) – A circular press release from the Pentagon makes it clear that Washington wants to update the optical technologies that are currently used with more modern versions, more competitive and with better functional features, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
It is about an order for $442 million for the development and production of new binocular optical night vision systems. It is also clear from the press release that the process of selecting a contractor has already been completed, with L3Harris Technologies and Elbit Systems taking over the production of night systems.
According to technicians in the military optical industry, binocular night systems are a set of automated components that must not only transmit data and images to the soldier, but also ensure his better mobility on the battlefield.
The so-called Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular [ENVG-B] system, which is the subject of this order from the US Army, should provide some improvements from existing and currently used similar systems, such as a significantly larger display with much more -good resolution, wireless network to provide access to wireless internet communication, algorithms for using the “augmented reality” function, as well as a modern information platform for instant information transfer.
Production of these systems has already begun, after Elbit Systems of America officially announced that it had been funded by the project with nearly $23 million and had begun the process of producing the ordered products. So far there is no information when the production is expected to end, but judging by the efficiency of military companies in this area, the production process is expected to end within the deadline set by the Pentagon.
US is already ahead of its competitors with several tests of ‘smart’ sights
US ground forces at the Syrian base at Tanf have tested the latest SMASH 2000 sight for downing drones as we reported on July 19 this year. Similar sights were previously used only by the Israel Defense Forces. US SMASH 2000 was tested in Syria for the first time. “US Special Forces bought this system for use in real-life combat situations,” said Dr. Abraham Mazor, one of the founders of Smart Shooter Ltd.
In the past, Mazor worked for Rafael [an arms manufacturer, one of the four largest Israeli arms and military exporters], including many years of work in the Spike ATGM team. Abraham Mazor declined to say what kind of military operations this technology is being considered in the U.S. Army, but handouts issued by the United States Army underscores the usefulness of sights as a means of fighting unmanned aerial vehicles, writes Daily Mail. According to him, this product is 100% manufactured by Smart Shooter Ltd. “Our company is in direct contact with the US Special Operations Command [SOCOM], working with US special forces and the IDF”.
Before moving on to testing the scope in Syria, the U.S. Army first bought 98 SMASH 2000 from Smart Shooter Ltd. and in August 2019 conducted their preliminary tests at Beale Air Base near Yuba, California. The manufacturer of the sights – the Israeli company Smart Shooter Ltd. – Offers a whole line of SMASH sights, which are actually fire control systems [LMS]. Developed in close collaboration with the Israeli army. The SMASH system allows the shooter to open fire only when the system evaluates the hit on the target as highly probable. Moreover, it takes into account all possible external conditions.
US Army uses state-of-the-art thermal imaging optical sights for its assault rifles
After we reported in recent months that the US Army is beginning a complete renewal of the armament of its soldiers, today it is time to introduce you to perhaps the most modern thermal imaging optical sight in the world, which is also in service in the US Army. We’re talking about the FWS-I thermal imaging sight (Family of Weapon Sights) with a wireless module for transmitting images to the latest model of the night vision device ENVG III [Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III].
By pressing the button mounted on the weapon, soldiers can wirelessly transmit the image from the FWS-I sight to the screen of the night vision device ENVG III mounted on the helmet and quickly fire at the enemy. “This is the first time we have consciously taken information from a weapon’s sight and combined it with the information from a detection sensor mounted on a helmet to enable quick target capture,” said Dean Kissinger, an engineer at Soldier Maneuver. ENVG technology consists of a traditional infrared image amplifier as well as a thermal imaging camera. The system combines an infrared image with a thermal image on one display.
Soldiers can choose between infrared and thermal modes, or use both modes simultaneously as an effective tool for detecting an adversary at night or in daytime in difficult conditions, such as smoke, fog and sandstorms. The weight of the ENVG III is about 900 grams. FWS-I offers three modes of operation to choose from: full scope, picture-in-picture, and fast target capture mode. “In main mode, you only see the gun’s scope,” said Major Kevin Smith.
According to him, the fast target capture mode is used to monitor several targets using a wide field of view of 40 degrees. Picture-in-picture mode can be used to increase situational awareness, but this mode is difficult to get used to. “Some soldiers like it, but some don’t,” said Smith. Also, the system allows not only quickly detecting the enemy, but also immediately aiming at him, even if the fire is conducted “from the hip” or blindly due to shelter. True, army officials emphasized that this was not intended to replace basic shooting skills.
FWS-I weighs about 680 grams and allows for targeted shooting at distances up to 1100 meters. It can be mounted on an M16 rifle, an M4 carbine and an M249 machine gun. Army officials conducted several tests of the reliability of the two systems, and also verified that they could work under conditions of using electronic warfare equipment. As we reported back in 2017 the army plans to purchase 36,000 FWS-I and 64,000 ENGV III for commanders of infantry brigades, as well as for command of special operations forces. The Marines are also interested in buying the FWS-I.
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