Unlike the massive acquisition programs for fighter jets and combat vehicles, night vision technologies need to be refreshed every few years in order for troops to maintain their edge against adversaries. Scientists have focused on improving image quality while driving down the size, weight and power consumption of these devices.
For the first time, the
For decades, the U.S. military relied on analog night vision goggles that use image intensification tubes to amplify existing light, allowing troops to see in practically pitch-black conditions.
"The image intensifier is almost a perfect technology. It consumes extremely little power, [and] it's very light," said
Like its predecessor, the new devices will combine thermal imaging and image intensification. However, the ENVG His will also include "rapid target acquisition" technology, which will wirelessly send imagery from the weapon sight to the goggles, allowing the soldier to see both images blended together.
Without rapid target acquisition, a soldier who sees an adversary in his night vision goggle would have to flip the goggle up in order to look through the weapon sight and view the target, said
Fielding a rapid target acquisition technology could reduce the time it takes for a soldier to detect and engage a target by 50 percent, the solicitation said. That would enable soldiers to be more lethal and effective, while increasing their ability to quickly operate at night.
The sight will be a "weapon-mounted long-wave infrared sensor used for surveillance and fire control of individual weapons during daylight, darkness, adverse weather and dirty battlefield conditions," the solicitation said.
The government intends on awarding up to two indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts.
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