Soldiers and Marines recently began the final field evaluation of the new binocular-style night-vision goggles the Army intends to begin fielding this fall.
The limited-user evaluation, known as a Soldier Touchpoint, will give a small group of soldiers and Marines the chance to use the new Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B) in field conditions at Fort Drum, New York, according to an Army news release.
The evaluation, which began April 22 and will last until May 3, will include a 36-hour platoon situational training exercise that includes convoy and range operations, land navigation and individual movement techniques.
"Throughout the past year and a half, soldier and Marine feedback from these Touchpoints provided several improvements to the ENVG-B system," Capt. Joshua Redmond, ENVG-B assistant product manager at Program Executive Office Soldier, said in the release. "The soldiers developed the system into what it is today, and these goggles have overwhelming user acceptance."
The Army first announced in February 2018 that it had funded the ENVG-B effort in the fiscal 2019 budget to equip infantry and other close-combat soldiers with a more enhanced capability than the current monocular-styled ENVGs and AN/PVS-14s.
The ENVG-B features dual-tubed technology for improved depth perception. The system uses higher resolution, white phosphor image-intensification tubes for better contrast.
The new goggles also have a fused thermal imager for better target recognition in degraded visual environments, including dust, smoke, zero illumination and subterranean conditions, the release states.
And they sport "wireless interconnectivity with the Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (FWS-I), displaying the weapon [sight reticle] in the ENVG-B, allowing soldiers to accurately engage without shouldering the weapon," the release states.
Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team officials announced last year that the ENVG-B would go into fielding in fall 2018, but the service could not meet that deadline.
Once this final evaluation is complete, the ENVG-B will go into full-rate production, and initial fielding could begin as early as September, the release states.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.