The US Army’s new night vision system looks very impressive


SNAFU Solomon linked to a tweet from Lancer Brigade that provided a video clip about the US Army’s third-generation AN/PSQ-20 ENVG-B (Enhanced Vision Night Goggle – Binocular) and associated equipment.  It was pretty amazing to watch.

Intrigued, I looked for more information (you’ll find a brief overview at the link above).  This twelve-minute video shows how the equipment is fitted and tuned to the individual soldier, and what they can see when they use it.  It’s impressive.  It looks like the device takes raw input from all the sensors, combines and refines it using computer-generated imagery, and presents a composite result to the user.

I’m particularly intrigued by the way the soldier can now “see through” his rifle’s sight without bringing it to his eye.  He can hold the weapon at waist height, or even extend it around a corner while all of his body except his hands and forearms remains behind cover, and still accurately hit what he’s aiming at.  That offers an immense tactical advantage, as does the fact that he can now see through smoke, fog, rain, and almost any human-generated battlefield camouflage designed to restrict vision.

How I wish we’d had something like that (or, for that matter, earlier generations such as the AN/PVS-5AN/PVS-7 or AN/PVS-14) during my time “up the sharp end” in the South African military during the 1980’s.  It would have made my job immensely easier . . . and, more to the point, it might have kept some of my late comrades-in-arms alive.



  1. It would have been nice to have nods back in Iraq just 18 years ago. Or walkie-talkies. Or radios with the range to communicate back to base. Or ammunition resupply. "You go to war with the army you have."

    I love seeing all the gear that has been developed. Now if they would actually issue it to the troops who need it. For crying out loud, we're just now issuing the Carl Gustav, which has been in use in one form or another for over 70 years. And we still refuse to purchase a direct fire mortar system, which would be great for use in urban terrain.

  2. Vaporware, until we buy and deploy 500K units.

    Oh, and it transmits from the rifle to the sight? On what wavelength?

    So we've found a new way to detect our troops, by sending out a detectable signal? Brilliant.

    And jamming tech for that? The size of a walkie talkie, and all they'll see is electro-hash.


    The Pentagon should try building stuff that doesn't break when hammered on with a sledge, nor requires craptons of batteries, and get back to us when they deploy that.

  3. Love the hi-tech, but until costs are such that we can buy a gazillion of them, they work in the first issue and not bug-free until the third, and the logistics system can support EVERYTHING required, from batteries, to widgets, to butt wipes, well,…

  4. Paid in part by the $100 million dollar fine for losing control of the Gen 3 night vision gear. It was "lent " to the Saudis and the disappeared.
    The largest ITAR fine to date I believe.

  5. Cyberpunk sights. Alas those worked by hard links or highly encrypted wireless. So good idea, but I doubt it would work in real life situations.

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