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US Army gets even deadlier with futuristic new night vision goggles

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New futuristic goggles will make the U.S. Army even deadlier, when it comes to dominating night-time battlefields. The technology will also help keep soldiers safe in an entirely new way.

Imagine if U.S. soldiers could shoot with precision from behind the safety of cover without exposure to enemy bullets? What if soldiers could literally shoot from the hip, on the fly, with absolute precision?

American soldiers will be able to do all this – and more – thanks to an exciting new technology.

Going forward, enemies of the United States will have to face nearly $100 million-worth of futuristic devices that will allow U.S. soldiers to see in the battlespace in ways enemy forces cannot.

In a way, American soldiers will be able to see what their rifle “sees.” Remarkably, U.S. soldiers can point their weapons around corners, for example, and precisely hit threats – all the while remaining hidden and protected behind cover.

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Without even bringing up the weapon to eye level, this new tech means soldiers can accurately fire a weapon. “Shooting from the hip” has officially entered a new era.

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M4 rifle equipped with an FWS-I sight fired while wearing helmet equipped with an ENVG III night vision goggle at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The FWS-I wirelessly transmits its sight picture to the ENVG III, allowing a shooter to see what the sight sees, without having to shoulder the weapon. (Credit: US Army)

The U.S. Army and BAE Systems closely collaborated to arm soldiers with the breakthrough technology. Dubbed the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program, the tech will provide soldiers with many crucial advantages. 

Not only can this amazing tech take soldiers’ rifles to another level, it has potential for a wide range of hard-hitting and powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

Futuristic Night Vision

In war, darkness can be a valuable advantage.

Tech like night vision goggles allow warfighters to see threats that cannot be seen clearly – or often seen at all- with the naked eye. One way devices deliver sight at night is by taking the available ambient light from the moon, for example, and harnessing it for illumination.

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Soldiers must able to quickly locate threats, distinguish friend or foe and accurately shoot to stop threats. This is difficult enough in daylight and becomes even more challenging in conditions that reduce visibility like darkness, smoke or vegetation.

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The new system in use (BAE Systems)

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Dominating Night Missions

To enhance the ability to “see” on the battlefield, soldiers often use two different devices – night vision goggles and the thermal device mounted on the weapon for aiming. Shifting between the two can impact how quickly the soldier identifies and stops a threat.

But the new, futuristic tech eliminates the need to switch between night vision goggles and weapon-mounted thermal sights.

In scenarios where every split second can have life or death consequences, even shaving seconds from having to switch to acquire targets is vital.

The ENVG combines two primary components into one system: one mounted on the weapon and one worn as a monocular. For example, a thermal sight is mounted the M4 service rifle. The new night vision is mounted on a soldier’s helmet. This thermal sight is connected wirelessly to this device.

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With just a mere push of a button, data is sent from the weapon sight to the goggle.

By allowing the soldier to “see” what the rifle “sees,” this cutting-edge tech can eliminate the need to look through a weapons sight.

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The M4 Service rifle (FN America)

ENVG III/FW-I uses advanced innovation, like 12-micron thermal tech, to give soldiers the advantage of ultra-sharp image quality to reveal enemy threats that would otherwise be hidden by the darkness of night.

The tech can also mean you don’t have to ‘paint’ targets with lasers. This means that the enemy will not know they have been seen until it is too late.

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Edge Beyond the Night

Dominating at night is key, but by no means the only advantage of the tech. This is one night vision device that also can deliver advantages during the day.

Equipped with this futuristic tech, U.S. soldiers will be able to see threats more clearly and at greater distances than before.

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ENVG also delivers an edge in other tough conditions like smoke from an explosion, fog, or thick dust kicked up by helicopters.

In terrain-specific challenges, like dense foliage, this tech can also play a crucial advantage by allowing U.S. forces to see “through” when others cannot.

With these new goggles, a soldier could safely – and accurately- shoot from around a building corner. Soldiers could even fire above their heads with accuracy while safely tucked behind a giant concrete barrier.

This is because a soldier can still see where the rifle is pointed, without looking down the barrel thanks to how this tech links the weapon sight to the soldier’s “sight.”

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Fighting in urban terrain, such as densely populated cities, is very likely should another war erupt. For these scenarios, this futuristic tech that allows soldiers to shoot from around corners while safely behind cover means the potential to reduce risk for American soldiers and save an incalculable number of lives.

What’s next?

This spring, the U.S. Army placed orders for $97 million-worth of these exciting new night vision goggles and thermal weapon sights. The investment is important to ensuring that the Army continues to dominate the night in battlespaces.

For a long time, the U.S. military enjoyed the huge advantage of tech so advanced and unrivaled that American forces could see when enemy forces simply could not.

Countries like China and Russia began eroding the U.S. military’s domination of the night with development of their own tech. ENVG III/FWS-I is a very important step to ensuring U.S. boots on the ground continue to have the very best equipment to dominate.

Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries who consults at the highest levels of defense and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, on sale in 30 countries.  Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”  where she gives listeners direct access to the most fascinating Special Operations warriors each week and to find out more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist you can click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/05/10/us-army-gets-even-deadlier-with-futuristic-new-night-vision-goggles.html

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