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A new system will help the US Marines see through smoke, fog, and concealment better than other devices. The Marine Corps has begun distributing about 1,300 helmet-mounted binocular night vision goggles to its infantry units. The goggles are lighter than the current system and allow for better depth perception when moving. They reportedly change the speed of operation of the combatants.
The squad binocular night vision goggles combine a binocular night vision device and an enhanced clip-on thermal imager. They help positioning in reduced visibility.
The dual-tube goggles provide an individual with a full view of what’s in front of them, unlike other night vision goggles that may only be single-tube, which only covers only one eye.
In December 2017, 650 Marines received the equipment and learned how to use them, and another 650 will receive them in April. The Department of Defense is accepting contracts for an estimated 16,000 additional systems for the Marines, according to international news agencies.
The enhanced devices include “picture-in-picture” mode that lets the shooter see two different directions at once or allowing the soldier to shoot around corners without being exposed, according to armytimes.com.
The first priority is to issue goggles to the Marine Rifle Squad and eventually the entire Ground Combat Element, program officials said.
Last May, L3 Technologies was awarded a $391.7 million contract for enhanced night vision goggles for the U.S. Army that include weapon sight and augmented reality for one view while maneuvering. The Marines also will receive the devices. L3 Insight Technology makes the binocular night vision device while Optics 1 manufactures the clip-on thermal imager. Wilcox Industries fabricates the Dovetail, which is used to mount the device to a Marine’s helmet.