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L3Harris Technologies has started delivery of its new Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular (ENVG-B). The delivery is part of a first order under an ENVG-B Directed Requirement Contract from the U.S. Army.

“The ENVG-B is the result of a year-long collaboration with the U.S. Army to deliver the most advanced night fighting system ever fielded,” said Dana Mehnert, President, Communication Systems, L3Harris. “This is the first networked night vision system that brings battlefield imagery and data directly to the soldier’s eye, providing situational awareness beyond the capability of near-peer threats facing the U.S. military and our allies around the world.”

Following the delivery of the first 40 units, L3Harris received two additional orders worth a total of approximately $153 million for nearly 7,000 additional systems and related logistical support. Together with the first $88 million supply contract, L3Harris has received orders to supply just over 10,000 ENVG-B systems under the Directed Requirement Contract.

Infantrymen of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division were the first soldiers of the U.S. Army to receive the new glasses. The U.S. Army plans to purchase a total of 108,251 systems to equip the entire infantry as well as unspecified Close Combat units.

The new eyewear is a further development of the “Fusion-Goggle-Enhanced” eyewear. It is a wireless, binocular night vision goggle with integrated thermal imaging device from the night vision specialist L3Harris. The glasses combine two powerful 18mm night vision tubes of the third generation (white phosphor) from L3Harris with a separate thermal imaging channel for image fusion and thermal target reconnaissance. The binocular design of the ENVG-B gives soldiers more depth perception and the thermal imaging sensor allows enemy heat signatures to be seen at night and in daylight through smoke, fog and other darkness on the battlefield. The system can be wirelessly combined with thermal imaging target devices mounted on handheld weapons and transfer the target image generated there directly into the eyepiece display of the ENVG-B – thus into the user’s field of vision.

The ability of the glasses to project target images of the weapon into the soldier’s field of vision allows the soldier to use the system for rapid target acquisition. This enables the soldier to shoot accurately from the hip, around corners or out of cover.

The high-resolution display in combination with the integrated wireless “Personal Area Network” for soldiers also allows a connection to the “Nett Warrior” of the U.S. Army using augmented reality algorithms. Position information (navigation data, position data, etc.) can also be displayed.

At AUSA 2019, L3Harris demonstrated how the ENVG-B can be connected to a FLIR Black Hornet nanodrone, for example. The reconnaissance images generated by the drone can thus be transmitted as image-in-image directly into the field of vision of the soldiers in the vicinity.

Waldemar Geiger