By Jon Dougherty
The U.S. military’s rehabilitation following years of downsizing and neglect by the Obama administration is continuing apace, thanks to the commitment made to the effort by POTUS Donald Trump and his Defense Department agency heads.
In addition to big weapons systems development and cyber warfare, ground pounders are also getting innovative new gear that makes our troops more lethal in combat.
Enter the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular, which has been billed by top Army and Marine Corps brass as beyond-next-gen technology in night vision.
Already, Army and Marine units have tested the device, which will be distributed to an as-yet-unidentified armored brigade combat team headed to South Korea later this year, Army Times reported.
“I have used the goggle. I have shot [with] the goggle. It is better than anything I’ve experienced in my Army career,” Lt. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commander of Army Futures Command, said in recent congressional testimony.
The Army Times noted further:
A big change for soldiers familiar with the current and older versions of night vision is the color they’ll see when looking through the tube.
No more green glow. The ENVG-B uses white phosphorous tubes.
“It’s been so successful with our Rangers and our infantry, that they’ve been using this night vision goggle in the daytime on the ranges,” Richardson added. “And they’ve gone from marksman to expert. It was more than we thought it was going to be from a night perspective.”
The ABCT headed to South Korea will be among the first 10,000 close-combat soldiers to receive the ENVGB over the next two years. The Marine Corps will field about 3,100 of the devices:
The key marksmanship feature is the addition of the Family of Weapons Sights-Individual and Rapid Targeting Acquisition. Demonstrated to Military Times in early 2017, the system uses a wireless connection between a rifle-mounted camera and the goggle to give the shooter a clear, focused, video-fed sight picture.
Shooters can choose between full goggle view, full weapons sights view or a picture-in-picture mode that allows them to see both views at once.
That means a soldier or Marine can fire from the hip about as accurately as from the shouldered position at close ranges. They can also fire around corners or other obstacles without exposing themselves.
Using the ENVGB, troops can see through dust, smoke, fog, and other obscurants to select from black, white-hot, or white-outlined features for the thermal vision device.
Army officials say the devices will enable video recording, eye tracking and muzzle placement during testing over the next 18-24 months so that their performance can be evaluated and tactics developed to incorporate their use.
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