A new night vision and weapon camera system allows shooters to fire around corners without exposing themselves and eliminates the dead time between seeing a target and firing when using night vision goggles.

The first-ever combination of night vision and target acquisition technology will allow soldiers and Marines to shoot around obstacles and see through smoke, fog and concealment like never before.

Researchers with the Army’s Program Executive Officer Soldier Maneuver Sensors have paired a next-generation night vision monocle, the ENVG-III, with the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual, or FWS-I to allow a shooter to view the battlefield through light-enhancing night vision and thermal vision.

The Army expects to order 36,000 of the FWS-I and 64,000 of the ENVG-III, with the first items arriving at infantry units and special operations forces units beginning spring 2018, with full fielding of the order complete by early 2019, said Maj. Kevin Smith, assistant product manager, Soldier Maneuver Sensors.

The first Army units will receive the devices next spring.

The system simultaneously permits the shooter to see a 40-degree view while also seeing an 18-degree view from the weapon sight. This enables shooters to fire from multiple positions, around and above obstacles, without exposing themselves.

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The “picture-in-picture” mode lets the shooter see two different directions at once. For example, if an infantryman were on foot patrol in a tight wedge formation, the soldier or Marine could patrol while observing their left flank, turn to give hand signals from their squad leader and still watch the flank from the camera on the rifle.


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Photo courtesy of Alan Lessig/Staff