The advancements made in the field of battlefield optics over the last 25 years have arguably been some of the most important in improving operational success and limiting soldier casualties. This includes thermal imaging for tank and helicopter weapons, laser scopes for long-range rifles and individual equipment like night vision goggles. More specifically, the Army recently unveiled that the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles Binoculars are currently in the last stages of testing at Fort Drum, New York.
In addition to improved depth perception, the ENVG-B uses dual white phosphorous tubes that provide a higher-resolution view than the traditional green glow. This enhanced perspective allows for improved vision in any limited visibility setting, including dust, fog and smoke.
But that’s not the cool part.
While a clearer view of a soldier’s surroundings is great, an improved sight picture is even better. The new goggles feature the ability to wirelessly connect with the Family of Weapon Sights for individual weapons.
It’s basically a picture-in-picture setup on the goggle lenses that allows soldiers to see where their weapon is targeted. This allows for accurate firing without the need to manually aim before firing. In theory, soldiers could be just as accurate shooting from any position, or even pointing the weapon around objects or terrain without moving from a covered position.
Or, as the Army, puts it, this functionality "enables soldiers to detect, recognize and engage targets accurately from any carry position and with significantly reduced exposure to enemy fire.” Reports have the new goggles improving firing accuracy by as much as 25 percent. If these marks hold up, the technology could be integrated into nearly all weapons systems in the future.
The goggles are also suitable for augmented reality, which could make them a highly valuable training aid. Once testing has been completed, the ENVG-B will enter full production, with the first set being issued in the fall.