The US Army expects to field two new systems to dismounted Soldiers that will allow for more rapid acquisition of targets, even those hidden by darkness, smoke or fog in the next 18 months.
First out of the gate will be the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) III, expected to be fielded sometime between April and June of 2018. Shortly after, the Army hopes to field the Family of Weapons Sights (FWS) between January and March of 2019.
The FWS-I and ENVG III are suitable in that the FWS-I, which would be mounted on a Soldier's weapon, wirelessly transmits its sight picture to the ENVG III, which a Soldier wears on his helmet.
Additionally, the ENVG combines thermal imaging with more common night vision image intensification technology, which is recognizable by the green image it creates.
Under starlight, targets may blend in with the background. But with the thermal capability overlaid on night vision, targets can't hide in smoke or fog. They "really pop out with that contrast," said Dean Kissinger, an electronics engineer who is currently assigned to Program Product Manger Soldier Maneuver Sensors at Program Executive Office Soldier here.
By paring the two systems wirelessly, they are allowing what the weapon-mounted sight is seeing to be beamed directly to the Soldier's eye. Further, these systems also help the Soldier acquire a target faster.
"The capability gap that we were tasked with closing by developing this was the rapid target acquisition capability," Lt. Col. Anthony Douglas, who serves as product manager for Soldier Maneuver Sensors at PEO Soldier, said.
"We are allowing the Soldier to actually see what is on their weapons sight, saving them time from having to bring the weapon to his eye." Douglas added.