Army Updates Night Vision Goggles
The latest iteration of the Army’s new night vision goggles could be in the hands of soldiers and Marines as soon as mid-September, according to a program officer.
The service is targeting Sept. 23 to deliver the first systems to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas, said Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, the head of program executive office soldier.
Sgt. 1st Class William Roth, a tech advisor with the soldier lethality cross-functional team out of Fort Benning, Georgia, said the update to the enhanced night vision goggle-binocular, or ENVG-B, increases the system’s sturdiness.
The latest upgrade focuses on the durability of the position assembly binocular, Roth told reporters in July during a media day at Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
“We’re just making sure that when the goggle is on the position assembly, that it’s durable, it’s stable and doesn’t move,” he said.
The Army tested the technology’s durability in July, with soldiers hiking a mountain three miles up and three miles down under harsh conditions while wearing the systems, Roth said.
During the test, the goggles were durable and didn’t jostle around, he said. “We are 100 percent ready to go when it comes to durability of the position assembly.”
Additionally, the goggles have an augmented reality targeting component that is similar to the popular gaming app “Pokemon Go.”
“If I want to plot a building or plot enemy or friendly [formations], I can actually plot it on here and see within the goggle,” he explained.
The system also comes with a labeling mechanism that allows servicemembers to flag objects, buildings or people.
“If there is another soldier on the other side of that wall, and he looks that way, he’ll see a blue icon inside of that wall so he’ll know where his friendly force disposition is,” Roth said.
The goggles are also enabled with rapid target acquisition, which links the system to a weapon’s sight, giving a soldier enhanced viewing options and allowing them to take cover while firing weapons.
“That rapid target acquisition would actually allow him, if he chose to stand behind a building, to actually stick his weapon out and not expose his body and he would still be able to engage targets accurately,” Potts said.
Last year, the Army awarded L3 Technologies a three-year, $391 million contract to manufacture the goggles.
The company has since changed its name to L3Harris Technologies following a merger with Harris Corp. in June.
The Marine Corps has also placed an order for 3,100 systems, he noted.