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In The Dark

A night vision device (NVD) is an optical instrument that allows images to be produced in
levels of light approaching total darkness. They are most often used by the military and law
enforcement agencies, but are available to civilian users. The term usually refers to a complete
unit, including an image intensifier tube, a protective and generally water-resistant housing, and
some type of mounting system. Many NVDs also include sacrificial lenses,IR illuminators, and
telescopic lenses.Night vision devices were first used in World War II, and came into wide use
during the Vietnam War. The technology has evolved greatly since their introduction, leading to
several "generations" of night vision equipment with performance increasing and price
decreasing. Another term is "night optical device" or NOD.
Night vision devices (NVDs) have allowed humans to easily blend into and exploit an environment that
was once only conquered through the use of flashlights and flood lamps. Whether in goggle or binocular
form, these devices have given people a significant edge, first in military combat and more recently in
surveillance, security, and rescue operations. As NVDs continue to be modified and improved, they have
found applications in ocular surgeries and are currently being researched for use in automobiles and
pedestrian detection. The history and technology behind NVDs is addressed, as well as modern and future

Night Vision Technology
Night vision technology uses image intensification (I2) to see details at night because it works by
intensifying the existing light spectrum. Low levels of ambient light pass through a photocathode
that converts the light photons to electrons, then amplifies them. Sensitivity levels to various
infrared, ultraviolet and visible spectrum wavelengths vary with the exact device. They then hit a
phosphor screen (read: TV screen) where they are converted into visible light (read: picture).
The phosphor screen is colored green because the human eye can differentiate more shades of
green than other phosphor colors. Like cameras, night vision devices have various image
magnifications. The distance at which a human-sized figure can be clearly recognized under
normal conditions (moon and star light, with no haze or fog) depends on both the magnifying
power of the objective lens and the strength of the image intensifier.
A complementary technology infrared (IR) or thermal imaging uses heat sources (aka. deep
infrared spectrum) instead. Because infrared is actively emitted and not just reflected, and isnt
blocked as easily as visible light, this form of infravision works in no-light conditions that may
prevail underground and inside dark buildings, or in conditions like dust storms, fog, etc. The
more sophisticated night vision systems for US soldiers also incorporate IR technology to
provided another way to see things at night.
The night vision industry has evolved through three generations of development. Each
generation offers more sensitivity and can operate effectively on less light.

The early 1960s witnessed the beginning of passive night vision. Technological improvements
included vacuum-tight fused fiber optics for good center resolution and improved gain, multi-
alkali photocathodes and fiber optic input and output windows.
Generation I devices lacked the sensitivity and light amplification necessary to see below full
moonlight and were often staged or cascaded to improve gain. As a result, Generation I systems
were large and cumbersome, less reliable, and relatively poor low-light imagers. They were also
characterized by streaking and distortion. Operating life expectancy of Generation I image
intensifier tubes was about 2,000 hours.
The development of the microchannel plate (MCP) led to the birth of Generation II devices in the
late 1960s and early 1970s. Higher electron gains were now possible through smaller packaging,
and performance improvements made observation possible down to 1/4 moonlight.
The first proximity focused MCP image intensifier tube was an 18mm used in the original
AN/PVS-5 night vision goggles. Generation II tubes had a life expectancy from 2,500 hours to
4,000 hours. Generation II+ provided improved performance over standard Generation II by
providing increased gain at high and low levels. Generation II+ equipment provided the best
image under full moonlight conditions and was recommended for urban environments.
A Generation III intensifier multiplies the light gathering power of the eye or video receptor up
to 30,000 times. Requiring over 460 manufacturing steps, the Generation III intensifier is
typically characterized by a gallium arsenide (GaAs) photocathode. The photon sensitivity of the
GaAs photocathode extends into the near-infrared region, where night sky illumination and
contrast ratios are highest. Sealed to an input window that minimizes veiling glare, the
photocathode generates an electron current which is proximity focused onto a phosphor screen,
where the electron energy is converted into green light that can then be relayed to the eye or
sensor through an output window.
Continuing improvements have increased the operating life expectancy of Generation III tubes to
10,000 hours. This is an important consideration when the intensifier tube normally represents
50% of the overall cost of the night vision system.Generation IIIs high infrared response
complements this phenomenon, creating a sharper, more informative image.
Generation III+ devices differ from standard Generation III in 3 ways. First, an automatic gated
power supply system regulates the photocathode voltage, allowing the device to adapt
instantaneously to changing light conditions.The 2nd way is a removed or greatly thinned ion
barrier, which decreases the amount of electrons that are usually rejected by the standard
Generation III MCP, resulting in less image noise and the ability to operate with a luminous
sensitivity at 2850K of only 700, compared to operating with a luminous sensitivity of at least
1800 for Generation III type image intensifier.And the 3rd way is combining the I2 and IR
technologies to enable troops to use the goggles in any environment.
Other technologies

The panoramic night vision goggles (PNVGs) which double the user's field of view to around
95 degrees by using four 16 mm image intensifier tubes, rather than the more standard two
18 mm tubes. The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group was equipped with
Panoramic Night Vision Goggles attached to their helmets during Operation Neptune Spear, the
operation that killed Osama Bin Laden

A new technology is being introduced to the consumer market currently. It was first shown at the
2012 Shot Show in Las Vegas, NV by Armasight. This new technology called Ceramic Optical
Ruggedized Engine (CORE) produces much higher performance Gen 1 tubes. The main
difference between CORE tubes and standard Gen 1 tubes is introduction of a ceramic plate
instead of a glass one. This plate is produced of specially formulated ceramic and metal alloys.
Thanks to the new technology edge distortion is minimized, photo sensitivity is greatly increased
and the resolution can get as high as 60 lp/mm. Even so, CORE is still considered Gen 1 as it
does not utilize a micro channel plate.
Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a contact lens that can act as night vision
device. The lens has a thin strip of graphene between layers of glass that reacts to photons to
make dark images look brighter. Current prototypes only absorb 2.3 percent of light, so the
percentage of light pickup has to rise before the lens can be viable. The graphene technology can
be expanded into other uses like car windshields to increase night driving abilities. The U.S.
Army is interested in the technology to potentially replace night vision goggles.

Indian Army is using Night vision devices for :
short-range surveillance and reconnaissance, night patrolling, vehicle driving,
map reading, and acquisition and engagement of target at short ranges.
In infrared, there are two wavebands; Mid Wave Infra Red (MWIR, 3-5m) and
Low Wave Infra Red (LWIR, 8-12m) which are being used in making thermal
imagers. There is a new window which is coming, the Short Wave Infra Red
(SWIR, 1-3m) and is becoming popular.
Thermal Imagers (Cooled and Uncooled). They are used for target acquisition
and engagement at long ranges and for missile guidance and warning.

Some of the thermal sights that have been developed at IRDE in the last decade are

Commanders Thermal Imaging sight cum Day sight for T-72 and MK-I
Medium range thermal imager for UAV
Electro-optical fire control system (EOFCS) for India Navy
Thermal imager for Nag missile carrier

Some of the uncooled thermal imagers developed at IRDE are

Helmet Mounted Thermal Imaging Camera (HMTIC): Range = 50m with field of view
Driver Night Sight: Range = 150m for tanks with field of view 45x34
Dual FOV Weapon sight for MMG: Range = 1.5km with Near FOV 5x4 and Weapon
Weapon night sight: Range = 500m with field of view 8x6

There are two types of Electro-Optical payloads for UAV.

Medium Range EO Payload (MREO). The range of the thermal imager is 7.5km and it
has a Laser Ranger cum Designator.
Long Range EO Payload (LREO). The range of the thermal imager is 40km. It has
also been deployed as Aerostat EO Payloads.

These payloads are also going to be used for border surveillance and there have been
negotiations with the army over deploying them in the next three-four years.

Wars that involve 24X7 operations require equipment with sound ergonomics that
prevents fatigue among the crew. Transparency of battlefield necessitates
countermeasures against the collective array of night vision devices available with the
enemy.While the focus on individual platforms is important, there is a need to give more
importance to developing collective tactical level capability.The Indian tank fleet is
partially night enabled with all new acquisitions like the T-90s and the Arjuns being night
capable but the older T-72s and BMPs are not. The industry should giveattention to
retrofitting these systems on to the older platforms in an appropriate way.

While conventional wars can still be sustained with partial night blindness, when it
comes to CI ops in order to minimize collateral damage precision firing in bad weather
and at night is very important.Conventional and sub-conventional operations require
operations by agile, responsive and networked infantry units in small teams that are
night enabled. The device needs to be seamlessly integrated with the weapon and
provide increased accuracy, lethality and standoff capability of weapon delivery system.
Night devices for Surveillance and target acquisition should match the effective ranges
of the weapons.The basic character of infantry has to be retained while incorporating
technology. Diverse sensors should provide all weather capability and gap-free
surveillance of areas of interest. UAVs should be used extensively and integrated with
Unmanned Ground Sensors. Military robots needed for enhanced and effective
surveillance tasks.The soldier should have capability to access the enhanced ISR inputs
by night.

The desired attributes for induction of new equipment are:
High sensitivity & resolution and low power consumption
Equipment should be versatile while at the same time maintaining standardisation
across types.
Ruggedness and survivability in the battlefield environment and should not degrade
over prolonged use.
Power pack should have multi utility capability and longer durability
Real time transfer of imagery in the desired resolution
User friendly display at both ends at the weapon sight and terminal view point end in
the form of computer, handheld or smart phones.
Mission Reliability to ensure high availability and reliable back end support
Should have associated field testing and minor repair equipment
Modular Design to enable easy replacement and quick repair
Fitment &upgrade possible in situ by the user.
Reduction in size, weight and cost with improved DRI ranges.
Tech threshold of AFV crew needs to be raised for optimized handling of high-tech
Realistic Training in line with technology incorporations.Simulators and other
tools/equipment for practice given the high technological sophistication. Training for
fitment and maintenance too.
Sustenance extended in service life in the army.
Smooth transition to superior technology. It should merge with existing technology
Competitive price for procurement in large quantities, while not compromising on the
operational requirements.


Night gives us greater protection while executing a raid or being at the receiving end of
a raid. Night vision brings in great asymmetry .Our night vision enhancement is based
on Image Intensifier tube technology and Infra red imaging. Modern helmets have
projection capability on their visors which is selectable by the pilot donning them. NVGs
have made their appearance on certain aircraft, notably the A-10s.

NVGs cannot see thru smoke while IR sensors can; on the other hand IR sensors
cannot see through glass while image intensifiers can and obviously, image
intensifiers cannot see in the absence of light while IR sensors can. So, technology has
been used to mix the two to form the ENVG or the Enhanced NVG. Overlays of the two
for piloting have been experimented with; however, there are yet no operational
systems for aircrew. High resolution night vision systems with better FOV, processing
and visualizations are being developed the world over.

Synthetic Vision. Synthetic Vision would combine world wide data bases of terrain
and airport facilities, precise navigation information, traffic information and tactical
hazards and produce real time synthetic vision tactical display with guidance. It can also
be employed by the UAVs. This passive system would be immune to being blinded,
spoofed, or detected jam proof and allow stealthier yet safer operation globally. It would
allow realistic pre-mission simulation of flight to and from target and a potential
windowless-cockpit flight capability to afford crew laser protection. Modern
developments aim to utilise a greater part of the EM spectrum. New materials that could
release near infra red light over prolonged periods would help in navigation and target
designation functions. Fusing of the three optical sensors the visible range, long-
wave infrared and short-wave infrared (SWIR) would radically alter the employment of
night vision goggles.

Helicopter is the basic unit for army operations by night that can operate from
unprepared surfaces and can perform multiple roles including delivery of firepower from
the air. It can also be employed as an electronic warfare platform or as a surveillance
platform or as an airborne command post. While the modes of operating any flying
machine remains unchanged by day or night, the standard of preparation both in air and
on ground and standard of equipping them is different.To meet basic operations by
night, helicopters must meet these requirements:

Night goggles with image intensifier technology which allows maximum image clarity
under all flight conditions even in low light and overcast conditions. It is very difficult to
perceive depth through NVGs. Cabin and instrument lighting, helipad lighting and
landing light should be compatible to NVG system.

Visual acquisition of target by night would be almost impossible. Arrays of sensors to
be able to navigate, identify, acquire and engage enemy targets and be able to meet
flight safety requirements.These would include Forward Looking IR radar, digitised
moving map display coupled with GPS locations, threat zones and obstructions. The
system architecture should include an automatic flying control system, digitised terrain
avoidance warning system, ground proximity warning system and obstacle avoidance
system and wire cutters. Tactical systems such as Identifying Friends or Foe (IFF)
would reduce risks of engagement by friendly fire and protective suites including Infra
Red Suppressors and IR Jammers and flare and chaff dispensers would protect against
missile attacks.In case landing has to be carried in a battle field, it must carry the IR
landing light and even troops on ground should have such lights. For operating at low
altitudes in dusty conditions, it is desirable for the helicopter to have particle separators.

System architecture for display of. Systems such as Head Up Displays (HUDs) of
flight data and data captured by the sensors could contribute towards reducing pilot
work load allowing him to concentrate on the situation outside the helicopter without
compromising on the flight safety.

Suitable man machine interface should be capable of converting degraded visual
environment by day and night into clear images in day light or night.

Use of night vision equipment requires intensive training. Night flying over sea can
cause disorientation due to the lack of reference points. The medical aspects also get
aggravated in case of night flying over sea.Weather vagaries add on to the difficulty.
Landings and take offs on the unstable platform with limited recovery and landing aids is
difficult. Chances of having an accident by night are definitely higher than during the day
and an accident at night is twice as likely to be fatal, as compared to a daytime
accident.The way to overcome these is through instrumentation and equipment and
training of which instrument flying is particularly important. Night missions for naval
fighter and helicopters involve Air Defence or Strikes, Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Dunking and Night SAR. Additional equipment and capabilities are assisting in take
offs and landings and undertaking of mission by night. These include Electro Optic and
Infrared Sighting systems, NVGs, HUD, automatic flight control, stability augmentation
systems, inertial navigation systems and radars in the aircraft. The naval Seaking and
ALH helicopters have GEN 2++ NVGs while trials are being conducted for Gen3
Goggles. Microwave landing system and NVG compatible landing aids on the ship
improve safety of night deck operations. All ships are going to be modified with it.
All new acquisitions are equipped with night flying capability catering to NVG Ops. All
pilots are being trained in NVG Ops. Some Cheetahs and MI-17s have been modified
for NVG operations.Some other older helicopters are not NVG compatible.

Pakistan has an Institute of Optronics headed by a Lt Gen that claims to be producing a
number of night vision devices that are even being exported. Pakistan has gained from
the global war on terror as its Special Forces have been provided American 3rd and 4th
generation NVDs.Pakistan Army Aviation has started using helmet mounted night vision
goggles. PAF are using NVGs in night flying.Pakistan has made tremendous strides in
using NVGs and is now ahead of us. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Chinese night fight capability is their area of strengths as they drill extensively by night.
Thermo Goggles are standard gear. They have the advantage of domestic industry
contributing to this equipment. With increased transparency of the battlefield advocacy
and training aspects need to be prioritized with more courses being conducted towards
awareness. Command and control systems are prime targets in the modern warfare.
They are easy to detect and proliferation of anti radiation missiles (ARMs) make them
an easy target. Camouflage and concealment of electronic radiation needs to be taken
up as part of the camouflage policy. Deception measures also need to be developed
along with the denial ones. This is especially true for the cyber domain.The ability of
using false images and dummies is very critical. Pakistan has invested in a number of
UAVs that can masquerade as air strikes. Perimeter protection is one of the key
requirements of any security solution. The 4 Ds of perimeter security are: deter, detect,
delay and deny. Intelligence Video Systems (IVS) have the capability now, during the
day time and at night, to take care of the 4Ds. Thermal imaging provides a consistent
image 24 hours per day completely independent of lighting conditions. It penetrates
smoke and dust and has better performance in adverse weather. They can be
seamlessly added to any networked security system. Thermal Cameras with analytics
capabilities provide much better detection and response system.

EW DELHI, India, March 29, 2012 ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) and Tata Advanced Systems
Limited have formed a strategic alliance to support Generation (Gen) 3 night vision requirements
in India.
Under a memorandum of understanding, Exelis and Tata Advanced Systems will partner to
supply manufacturing capabilities in India, maintenance and life-cycle support for Gen 3 night
vision products. To start with, Exelis will provide TASL with the latest Gen 3 night vision image
intensifier tubes, kits and other materials required to build night vision devices in India, to
expedite the delivery of the systems to customers in India. This will be followed by manufacture
of high precision components and sub-assemblies of the devices by Tata Advanced Systems.
This is an important alliance for Exelis and Tata Advanced Systems. It allows us to increase our
international footprint and provides our allies with the superior products they need to be
successful during night missions, said Nick Bobay, vice president and general manager of
the night vision business area at ITT Exelis. We look forward to a strong and healthy
partnership with Tata Advanced Systems to meet the growing needs of Indian customers.
The alliance with Exelis is an important step in Tata Advanced Systems strategy to enhance the
capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces by bringing to India cutting edge technology and
undertaking their manufacturing in India. We are tremendously excited by the potential of the
partnership with Exelis said Vijay Malik, General Manager (Defence and Security) at
TASL. Tata Advanced Systems has set up world class production facilities in collaboration
with some of the largest global technology companies to build capability in India, and we aim to
replicate the same with Exelis to provide cutting edge night vision solutions to our Defence,
Paramilitary and Police forces in the coming years.
The signing ceremony took place on Thursday, March 29 at Defexpo 2012 in Pragati Maidan,
New Delhi, India.

About ITT Exelis:

Like many creatures on this planet, we rely strongly on our eyes to interact with our surroundings. Yet,
our vision pales in comparison to those of many other species. Among the animals that use their sight for
survival, falcons have sharper vision, bees see more colors, and cats excel in the dark. What we lack
physically, however, is often compensated through our ability to engineer enhancements to the human
body equal to and sometimes exceeding what is available in nature.

DefenseLink/U.S. Department of Defense
Figure 1: A US Navy soldier uses the latest generation Night Vision Device (NVD) mounted to his
headgear. NVD's provide a crucial tactical advantage during warfare.
Among these advancements are the night vision devices (NVDs) that have allowed humans to easily
blend into and exploit an environment that was once only accessed through the use of flashlights and
flood lamps. Whether in goggle or binocular form, these devices have given a significant edge to humans,
first in military combat and more recently in surveillance, security, and rescue operations (see Fig. 1). As
NVDs continue to be modified and improved, they have even found applications in ocular surgeries and
are currently being explored for use in automobiles and pedestrian detection.
A Focus on the History
Before becoming such a widely-used technology, NVDs were originally the military's answer to night
combat. In World War I, large, power-guzzling search lights were used to dispel the night, illuminating
both enemies and allies, which could often be counter-productive. By World War II, the first crude
NVDs, dubbed Generation 0, were developed using lamps with filters that only passed infrared light.
Since infrared is invisible to the human eye, soldiers could easily carry and use image converter tubes that
changed the infrared light into the visible spectrum and allowed only the users to see in the desired areas
[1]. However, this was still an active form of illumination that could be exploited by both sides of the
battle and was thus used sparingly.
It was not until the Vietnam War that passive NVDs were developed and widely used. These devices were
considered passive because they did not require an external source of infrared illumination but could,
instead, amplify any reflected light (both infrared and visible light) from sources like the moon and the
stars [2]. The new technology was labeled Generation I and was significantly more effective in terms of
covertness in warfare. However, the dependence of Generation I on ambient light was still problematic on
moonless or cloudy nights. Through the late 1900s, this issue was addressed and resolved in Generations
II and III, both of which focused on magnifying very small amounts of light using an image intensifier
tube (instead of an image converter tube) and reliably producing images in higher resolutions. These
improved NVDs are still in use today in both military and civilian applications.
Illuminating the Process

Patxi Aguado/Wikimedia Commons
Figure 2: A night vision image of soldiers raiding the home of a terrorist suspect in Fallujah, Iraq. The
green hues come from phosphors that react with electrons coming from the microchannel plate.
Current NVDs consist of five main components in the image intensifier tube: a photocathode, a
microchannel plate (MCP), a phosphor screen, and two ocular lenses for collecting, magnifying, and
focusing the images. The first lens captures both visible light and infrared radiation. The photons of light
hit the photocathode, which absorbs the energy of the photons and emits electrons with a corresponding
energy. These electrons then collide with the MCP which, through cascaded secondary emission, releases
thousands of other electrons at the same energy. Cascaded secondary emission occurs when the original
electrons collide with the side of the channels and excite the atoms along the wall. These excited atoms
then release their own electrons, which repeat the process and go on to excite other atoms. The
microchannels are actually angled five to eight degrees to encourage the necessary collisions [3].
After passing through the MCP, the greatly multiplied electrons finally collide with a phosphor screen
placed at the end of the image intensifier tube. The phosphors are energized by the electrons and release
photons to create the brightened and magnified image through the last lens on the way to the human eye.
Most often, green phosphors are used because humans can differentiate the most shades of green, which
results in more discernible detail (see Fig. 2).
Lighting the Way
These ghostly images continue to be practical for a variety of purposes. For the military, NVDs have
consistently been modified and specialized for use ranging from covert ground operations to aviation,
successfully creating stronger, smaller, lighter, and more versatile devices for our soldiers. For flight
applications, NVDs also had to be adapted to mount on the special headgear required of pilots while
taking into consideration their field of view. Other considerations were their ability to transition from
relative darkness to brighter areas when flying over cities and towns, and the effect of the goggles on
night reading of important maps and charts without refocusing the lenses [1]. One such device that was
able to answer the military's needs is the AN/AVS-6 Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System (ANVIS).
This light-weight, third generation model runs on AA batteries and is able to increase peripheral vision
and even incorporate a display for digital maps and programmable flight information, including speed,
direction, and altitude of the plane [1].
With its successful incorporation into military flight, civilian pilots in rescue operations who often fly
through darkness and foul weather to reach their targets began using NVDs during their missions. These
relatively small additions to the flight equipment require a few hours of training and produce potentially
dramatic results, allowing medical pilots to spot their future patients in the dark as well as reducing the
potential for medical helicopter crashes in already dangerous situations. This technology is estimated to
already exist in 25% of the medical rescue helicopters in the United States with more seeking to
incorporate the ANVIS NVDs into their programs [4].
Inevitably, this technology has even made its way to luxury automobiles, with many companies
combining technologies to create night vision screens, infrared high beams, and even pedestrian-tracking
capabilities [5]. These new enhancements can extend the visibility of drivers at night, and during fog and
rain, to over 300 meters, which is comforting considering the 50 meters currently provided by regular
headlights. It takes approximately 110 meters to completely stop from a speed of about 100 km/hr. The
numbers are clearly working against night-time drivers, but with the incorporation of NVDs, this
disadvantage is greatly decreased [6].

Figure 3: Lexus utilizes active night vision via infrared-emitting lights to produce an image in its head-up
Costing an additional $3000 to consumers, these systems use active NVDs with infrared-emitting light
bulbs near the headlights to illuminate the road ahead (see Fig. 3). Since the human eye cannot see
infrared light, the bulbs can be pointed straight ahead, giving drivers with the right image converters a lit-
up, albeit greenish, view of the road.
However, just as with any new technology, the addition of NVDs to civilian vehicles still needs to
undergo extensive research and testing. Engineers will need to ensure that the additional screens do not
become just another distraction that could take the attention of the driver off the road during a precarious
moment. They will also need to avoid creating a false sense of security, causing drivers to relax their
attention and even speed up, believing in the infallibility of NVDs. Even experienced emergency pilots
require training before flying with such a system, so it is understandable that there may be some
reservation in selling such a product with only an additional manual to read. However, with careful and
responsible use, NVDs could reduce casualties in many different situations as well as have dramatic
effects on how we view and interact with our environment.
A Bright Future
NVDs have proved to be extremely versatile in the current day and have brought maneuvering in combat,
flight, and driving to a new level of safety and security. Where we once forged ahead blindly into the
night, now both our armed forces and civilians alike are experiencing the ability of engineering to
continue to bring light to the darkness and to exceed the physical limits of the human body. As new
applications for NVDs continue to be found, research for this area thrives, pointing towards future
advancements such as panoramic and color night vision goggles. We have much to look forward to in the
field of night vision devices.

Night Vision Limitations
Helicopter dust impairs
I2-based night vision goggles
(click to view larger)
As former General McCaffrey said, night vision provides a significant advantage to US troops in
the field. However, with benefits come risks. Some of the risks include accidents caused as a
result of poor device design or inadequate training. For example, night vision devices cause
problems with soldiers depth perception, peripheral vision, and color-based vision.
The I2 technology used in night vision devices can increase distortion of light and limit the
soldiers field of vision. In addition, the technology does not work in no light environments.
The visual clearness provided by I2 technology rapidly diminishes for objects over 400 feet
away, particularly if they are moving quickly. Also, weather can significantly diminish the
functioning of night vision equipment. Rain, clouds, mist, dust, smoke, and fog all affect
performance. For example, if a helicopter lands in a dusty area, the dust blown up by the rotors
can make I2-based night vision systems virtually useless. Also, a bright moon can significantly
degrade performance; it is the equivalent of looking at the sun with the naked eye.
While IR technology can be used effectively in no light environments, it too has limitations that
could lead to accidents in the field. For instance, IR technology cannot be used to identify precise
details of remote objects, particular if they have similar heat footprints. In addition, IR
technology cannot distinguish facial features.
Although IR technology is better at seeing through rain and fog, it has problems distinguishing
objects that have been cooled by rain, such as runways. Also, high humidity impairs the ability
of IR devices to distinguish heat signatures.
The Way Ahead
One solution to the shortcomings of the I2 and IR technologies is to combine them in one
system. This is the approach taken by the Generation III+ night vision devices discussed above.
When it is raining or foggy, the soldier can switch from I2 to IR technology. When facial
features need to be seen, the soldier can switch back.
In addition, by digitizing the images, night vision goggles would not only enable the fusion of I2
and IR technologies, but also allow those images to be sent via a communication link to other
soldiers as well as back to the command post.
Going digital does come at a price. Just as earlier versions of digital electronics, such as the cell
phone, were larger, heavier and more power hungry than their analog counterparts, so the new
digital night vision devices that fuse I2 and IR capabilities electronically. Further development
will needed so that these devices do not become a burden, instead of an aid, to the soldier in the
All in all, the benefits of night vision technology far outweigh the problems and give US forces a
vital advantage in close quarters combat.
Contracts and Key Events
A broad range of contracts have been issued by the US military for night vision devices over the
years. Below is a list of the major contracts issued since 2004. Note that orders for PAS-13
thermal weapon sights are covered in full elsewhere, as they are properly weapon scopes.
FY 2011 2012
(click to view full)
Sept 19/12: In September 2012, the The US Army Contracting Command in Aberdeen Proving Ground,
MD issues a pair of contracts for Enhanced 3rd Generation Aviators Night Vision Imaging Systems.
Army systems are focused on systems for helicopter pilots, and the $200 million firm-fixed-price contract
is a multiple-award vehicle, which means that the 2 winners will compete for each task order from the
date of issue to Sept 3/17.
The firms involved have since confirmed to DID that this contract covers the AN/AVS-6, which
can be mounted to a variety of aviator helmets, including the SPH-4B, HGU-56P, and Alpha.
The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 3 bids received, but just 2 winners:
L-3 Communications Corp. in Tempe, AZ (W91CRB-12-D-0014)
[ex-ITT] Exelis Inc. in Roanoke, VA (W91CRB-12-D-0015).
Sept 30/11: FLIR Boston Systems, Inc. in North Billerica, MA receives an $18.1 million firm-
fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the clip-on night vision device,
thermal, short-range, and accessories in support of U.S. Special Operations Command.
$420,920 will be obligated at time of contract award. Work will be performed in North Billerica,
MA, and is expected to be complete by September 2016. This contract was competitively
procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 9 offers received by the US
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division in Crane, IN (N00164-11-D-JN68).
Sept 30/11: FLIR Government Systems Pittsburgh, Inc. in Freeport, PA receives a $30.1 million
firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the clip-on night vision
device, image intensified, and accessories in support of U.S. Special Operations Command.
$65,100 will be obligated at time of award. Work will be performed in Freeport, PA, and is
expected to be completed by September 2016. This contract was competitively procured via the
Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 5 proposals received by the US Naval Surface
Warfare Center, Crane Division in Crane, IN (N00164-11-D-JN67).
June 13/11: ITT Corp. in Roanoke, VA received a $36.2 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-
delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for AN/AVS-9 night vision image intensifier sets, for use
by USMC and US Navy helicopter pilots. The AN/AVS-9 system is a night vision system
consisting of a binocular imaging assembly, a helmet mount, a low profile power pack, a
carrying case, and ancillary equipment.
Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA, and is expected to be completed by June 2016.
$1,719,720 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. This contract was
competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 2 offers
received by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN (N00164-11-D-JQ00).
April 13/11: L-3 in Garland, TX receives $7 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/
indefinite-quantity contract for 2,588 Enhanced Third Generation Image Intensification Ground
Night Vision Imaging Systems. Work will be performed in Garland, TX, with an estimated
completion date of May 22/14. Two bids were solicited with 2 bids received by U.S. Army
Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-11-D-0083).
Dec 16/10: All Native Service Co. in Bellevue, NB received a $22.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee
contract for technology advancement support services to the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors
Directorate at Fort Belvoir, VA. This effort provides the Army and Department of Defense with
technology solutions for night vision and electronic sensors and sensor suites for target
acquisition, engagement and defeat of enemy forces day or night, and under all battlefield and
weather conditions.
Work will be performed at Fort Belvoir, VA (23%); Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ (11%); Fort AP
Hill, VA (11%); Eglin Air Force Base, FL (11%); Fort Hunter Liggett, CA (11%); Jefferson
Proving Grounds, IN (11%); White Sands, NM (11%); and Aberdeen, MD (11%). Work is
expected to be completed by December 2011. The contract was not competitively procured by
the US Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head, MD (N00174-11-D-0006).
Oct 20/10: EOIR Technologies announces that it received a $245 million contract from the US
Armys Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate to provide engineering support and
technology assistance. The contract supports research, development, experiments, engineering,
prototyping, and field support to develop quick reaction war support services and material related
to the directorates efforts at Fort Belvoir and Fort AP Hill, Quick Reaction Programs, Overseas
Contingency Operations, as well as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
FY 2008 2010

click to play video
Aug 12/10: ITT Corp. in Roanoke, VA wins a $260.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for 220
enhanced night vision goggles test articles, and associated contracts date requirement lists. Work
will be performed in Roanoke, VA, with an estimated completion date of Aug 9/13. Bids were
solicited on the web with 6 bids received by the US ARDEC Contracting Center at Aberdeen
Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-10-C-0177).
The USAs ENVG, or AN/PSQ-20, is the first helmet-mounted night vision monocular to
combine the strengths of both image intensification (I2) and infrared (IR, or thermal)
technologies into one device. ITT competed in the second ENVG follow-on proposal with an
updated version that it calls the Spiral Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (SENVG) that
incorporates the 18 mm image intensifier tube, utilizes several qualified ENVG subassemblies,
and is powered by 3 AA batteries/. It also adds a digital upgrade capability that will allow the
goggle to export fused imagery for transmission via battlefield networks.
In 2005, ITT was one of the firms awarded the initial ENVG contract, with the U.S. Army
beginning fielding of the units in April 2008. As of August 2010, ITT has provided over 2,400
ENVG systems to the U.S. Army, with another 6,500 to be delivered on the current contract. See
also ITT release
Aug 12/10: DRS Systems, Inc. in Parsippany, NJ receives a $255.3 million firm-fixed-price
contract for 220 enhanced night vision goggles test articles, and associated contracts date
requirement lists. Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA, with an estimated completion date of
Aug 9/13. Bids were solicited on the web with 6 bids received by the US ARDEC Contracting
Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-10-C-0178).
Aug 12/10: L-3 Insight Technology, Inc. in Londonderry, NH wins a $255.3 million firm-fixed-
price contract for 220 enhanced night vision goggles test articles, and associated contracts date
requirement lists. Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA, with an estimated completion date of
Aug 10/13. Bids were solicited on the web with 6 bids received by the US ARDEC Contracting
Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-10-C-0179).
April 15/10: L-3 Communications completes its acquisition of Insight Technology in
Londonderry, NH. Insight develops and manufactures night vision and electro-optical devices,
including laser aiming and illumination devices, laser rangefinders, laser markers and
designators, night vision goggles and monoculars, and thermal imaging systems. Insight employs
approximately 1,100 people and has $290 million in annual sales. L-3 said that the purchase
price represents 9 times Insights estimated 2010 EBITDA (see Feb 19/10 entry). L-3 expects the
acquisition to add $200 million to its sales. The company will be renamed L-3 Insight
Technology. Terms were not disclosed.
April 5/10 The DoDs Joint Improvised Explosives Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO)
issued a broad agency announcement asking for industry proposals on ways to integrate night
vision devices into explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) bomb suits for use in Iraq and
Afghanistan. According to JIEDDO, the face shields on the EOD bomb suit helmets currently do
not allow for the use of night vision devices, such as the PVS-7 and PVS-14. Proposals are due
June 4/10.
March 30/10: L-3 Communications EOS Division in Garland, TX received a 2-year, $30
million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of MX 10160 image
intensifier assemblies in support of US Special Operations Command Headquarters Procurement
Division. The work will be performed in Tempe, AZ and is expected to be complete in 2012
March 1/10: Insight Technology in Londonderry, NH received a $34.1 million firm-fixed-price
contract for the Fusion Goggle System Version 4 (FGS V4) from the US Special Operations
Command (USSOCOM). The command requires the FGS V4 for special operations force
elements currently engaged in the overseas contingency operations. The application for this item
is combined thermal imaging and image intensification. Work will be performed in Londonderry
and is expected to be completed by March 2015. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane
Division in Indiana manages the contract (N00164-10-D-JQ58).
Feb 22/10: The US State Department announces that on Feb 4/10 it lifted a 3-year export
debarment imposed on ITT for export rule violations regarding its night vision systems.
In March 2007, ITT plead guilty to violating the US Arms Export Control Act when the
company released technical information to China, Singapore and the United Kingdom for night
vision systems without proper export licenses. In December 2007, ITT agreed to pay penalties
and institute remedial compliance measures to address its lax export control compliance. Under
the debarment, the State Department restricted certain exports of night vision equipment and
technical data to specific countries.
According to the Feb 22/10 Federal Register announcement:
The Department of State has reviewed the circumstances and consulted with other appropriate
U.S. agencies, and has determined that ITT Corporation has taken appropriate steps to address
the causes of the violations and to mitigate any law enforcement concerns.
In response, ITT said in a statement:
ITT has spent a tremendous amount of effort, time and resources to ensure that its export
compliance program is effective and fully compliant with government law and regulations. The
reinstatement of export privileges reinforces our commitment to ensure that we are following
both the letter and intent of all U.S. laws and regulations.
Feb 19/10: L-3 Communications announces that it agreed to acquire Insight Technology in
Londonderry, NH, for an undisclosed consideration. Insight develops and manufactures night
vision and electro-optical devices, including laser aiming and illumination devices, laser
rangefinders, laser markers and designators, night vision goggles and monoculars, and thermal
imaging systems. Insight employs approximately 1,100 people and has $290 million in annual
sales. L-3 said that the purchase price represents 9 times Insights estimated 2010 EBITDA. It
expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter of 2010.
Feb 8/10: Irvine Sensors in Costa Mesa, CA announces a subcontract worth up to $18 million to
supply clip-on thermal imagers (COTI) to Optics 1 under a $37.8 million COTI contract awarded
by the Naval Surface Warfare Center of Crane, IN (see Jan 20/10 entry).
Irvine Sensors and Optics 1 jointly developed the COTI technology. The COTI has been
designed to clip onto existing military night vision goggles and provide users with thermal
images to complement the amplified low-light images that the goggles currently provide. There
are about 1 million night vision goggles in US military inventories that could potentially be
retrofitted with the COTI system, according to Irvine Sensors.
Jan 20/10: Optics 1 in Manchester, NH won a $37.8 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-
delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 6,600 Clip on
Thermal Imager (COTI) systems, repairs, spares and associated data. The COTI clips onto the
AN/PVS-15A night vision goggle to give special operation forces an optically fused device
providing a thermal image into either the right or left side of the PVS-15A goggle. Optics 1 will
perform the work in Manchester, NH, and expects to complete it by January 2015. This contract
was competitively procured via FedBizOpps with 2 offers received by the Naval Surface
Warfare Center in Crane, IN (N00164-10-D-JQ48).
Jan 12/10: ITT Night Vision Division in Roanoke, VA received a $7.4 million firm-fixed-price
contract for various night vision equipment for the Canadian military. ITT will perform the work
in Roanoke, VA, with an estimated completion date of Dec 31/10. CECOM Acquisition Center
at Fort Monmouth, NJ manages the contract (W15P7T-10-C-D214).
Oct 16/09: ITT Corp. received a $72 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite quantity (IDIQ)
contract for its aviators night vision goggles (AN/AVS-6), night vision tubes and spare parts.
The company competitively won 100% of the contract awarded by the US Army Research
Development and Engineering Command. With this most recent award, ITT said it remains the
sole supplier of aviation goggles and tubes to the US Army.
Oct 16/09: ITT Corp. received a $19.3 million delivery order from the US Armys Research
Development & Engineering Command Acquisition Center under the OMNI VII contract (see
Sept 15/05 item) for AN/PVS-14 night vision monocular devices 80% of these goggles are
destined for the US Air Force with the remaining quantities for the US Navy and US Army.
The AN/PVS-14 is a night vision monocular that provides enhanced resolution for mobility and
target identification. For use by ground forces, these devices can be hand-held, head- or weapon-
mounted or fitted to a camera. The AN/PVS-14 operates on a single AA battery and comes
equipped with ITTs thin-filmed proprietary Generation 3 Pinnacle image intensifier tube that
has the ability to detect available light more than 10 times the power of previous generations.
Aug 12/09: ITT Corp. received $43 million in follow-on orders for Enhanced Night Vision
Goggles (ENVG) and associated spare parts from the US Armys Research, Development and
Engineering Command Acquisition Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground in MD. The original
contract (W91CRB-05-D-0012), awarded in 2005, has a potential value of $560 million. ITT
partnered with Raytheon in developing the ENVG, which combines a number of night vision
The ENVG, or AN/PSQ-20, is the first helmet-mounted night vision monocular to combine the
strengths of both image intensification (I2) and infrared (IR, or thermal) technologies into one
device, according to ITT. The US Armys first unit equipped with ENVG was introduced in
April 2008.
Jan 8/09: L3 Electro-Optical Systems (EOS) in Garland, TX won [pdf] a maximum $48.9
million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for Submersible
Binocular Night Vision Systems (SBNVSs). The SBNVSs will be used by US Navy personnel to
provide night vision capability. Work will be performed in Garland, TX and is expected to be
complete by January 2014. This contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps, with 4
offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN manages the contract (N00164-
Sept 29/08: Small business qualifier Norotos in Santa Ana, CA won a maximum value $15
million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for ruggedized night
vision mounting hardware. The night vision mounting hardware will be procured for surface US
Navy operational use with current night vision devices as well as future procurements of night
vision devices. The helmet-mounting system will be universal to support AN/PVS-15B
binocular, AN/PVS-7C goggle, AN/PVS-18 monocular, and F6015 monocular.
Work will be performed in Santa Ana, CA and is expected to be complete by June 2013.
Contract funds in the amount of $194,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This
contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps, with 2 offers received by the Naval
Surface Warfare Center Crane IN (N00164-08-D-JQ23).
Sept 17/08: Science Applications International Corp. in San Diego, CA won a $6.7 million cost-
plus-fixed-fee contract. The primary objective of the Advanced Night Vision System program is
to develop core technologies for improving night vision capability in urban operations. Work
will be performed in San Diego, CA; Elk River, MN; Bull Shoals, AZ; Palo Alto, CA;
Watertown, MA; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, with an estimated completion date of
March 15/10. Bids were solicited via a Broad Agency Announcement and 3 bids were received
by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, VA (HR0011-08-C-0144).
June 18/08: ITT Night Vision in Roanoke, VA received a $6.9 million firm-fixed-price contract
for PVS-7D night vision and AN/PVS7 night vision devices. Work will be performed in
Roanoke, VA and is expected to be complete by Dec 31/09. For this contract, 1 bid was solicited
by the US Armys CECOM Acquisition Center in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15P7T-08-C-D236).
June 9/08: Information Network Systems in Alexandria, VA received a $9.2 million task order
(#0030) under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9013) to provide
analytical, acquisition, administrative and logistics support for the Program Manager, Optics and
Non-lethal Systems, Infantry Weapons Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command. PM ONS
develops, demonstrates, procures, fields, and provides life-cycle management support for electro-
optical systems, optics tools and test equipment, and non-lethal and force protection (NL/FP)
systems to support USMC warfighting forces. This includes all day and night scopes, laser
pointers, laser illuminators, thermal weapons sights, night vision enhancement devices, and
NL/FP systems. Work will be performed in Stafford, VA and is expected to be complete in June
2009. The Marine Corps System Command in Quantico, VA manages the contract.
FY 2004 2007
Sept 28/07: ITT Night Vision in Roanoke, VA received a $10.9 million firm-fixed-price contract
for procurement of AN/AVS-9 Aviators Night Vision Goggles and associated data. The
AN/AVS-9 Aviators Night Vision Goggles are helmet-mounted goggles that will be used on US
Navy ships for nighttime flight operations by both aircraft pilots and ship crew members. Work
will be performed in Roanoke, VA and is expected to be complete by September 2012. This
contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division,
IN (N00164-07-D-8540).
Sept 6/07: ITT Night Vision in Roanoke, VA received a maximum $37.1 million fixed-price
indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for a maximum of 5,200 submersible monocular
night vision systems (US Navy); 2,500 submersible monocular night visions systems (US Coast
Guard); 3,000 head-mount face mask assemblies; 7,500 head mounts; 3,000 head straps for
personnel armor system for ground troops helmet; 3,000 head straps for modular integrated
communications helmet (MICH); 3,000 low profile 3-hole MICH mounting brackets; and
associated data.
Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA and is expected to be complete by September 2012.
Contract funds in the amount of $5.6 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This
contract was competitively procured by a request for proposals with multiple firms solicited and
1 offer received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, IN (N00164-07-D-8550).
July 18/07: Northrop Grummans Litton Systems in Garland, TX received a $74 million
indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity letter contract for production and delivery of the
AN/PVS-17C miniature night sight, and associated spare and repair parts. The contract provides
for a minimum quantity of 100 and a maximum of 10,000 units. Work will be performed in
Garland, TX and is expected to be complete in December 2010. This follow-on contract meets an
urgent requirement, and was not awarded competitively by the Marine Corps Systems Command
in Quantico, VA (M67854-07-C-1011).
July 16/07: ITT Night Vision in Roanoke, VA received a maximum $16.6 million firm-fixed-
price indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for a maximum of 6,800 18 mm Image
Intensifier MX-10160C Tubes. Image Intensifier Assembly 18-mm Microchannel Wafer High
Performance Tubes are utilized in night vision goggles.
Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA and expected to be complete by July 2012. This
contract was competitively procured by a request for proposals with 2 firms solicited and 1 offer
received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, IN (N00164-07-D-8543).
May 21/07: ITT Corp.s Night Vision Division in Roanoke, VA received a $6 million firm-
fixed-price five-year indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for 18 mm Image Intensifier
Tubes for use in night vision goggles, night vision weapon sights, night vision binoculars and
night vision monoculars. The tubes magnify and enhance existing natural light or laser
illumination to allow users to see in the dark.
Work will be performed in Roanoke, VA, and is expected to be complete by May 2012. This
contract was competitively procured and solicited via the web via FedBizOpps with 1 offer
received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, IN (N00164-07-D-8520).
April 24/07: DRS technologies subsidiary Night Vision Systems in Allentown, PA received a
maximum $139.3 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for night vision
equipment on behalf of the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. This is a 5-year contract
with 1 base year and 4 one-year options. There were 5 proposals solicited and 4 responded. Date
of performance completion is April 19, 2008. Contracting activity is Defense Supply Center
Columbus, (DSCC) in Columbus, OH (SPM7AX-07-D-7014).
March 21/07: Columbia Research Corp. in Washington, DC received a $6.3 million term task
order (M67854-04-A-5167 Task Order 0003) for acquisition, logistics, and administrative
support services for the Program Manager Optics & Non-Lethal Systems (ONS), Infantry
Weapons Systems office. The ONS program manager develops, demonstrates, procures, fields,
and provides life-cycle management support for optics and non-lethal systems to support USMC
warfighting forces. This includes all day and night scopes, laser pointers, laser illuminators,
thermal weapons sights, night vision enhancement devices, and non-lethal systems.
Work will be performed in Quantico, VA (81%); Albany, GA (13%); Camp Lejeune, NC (3%);
and Camp Pendleton, CA. (3%). Additionally, to accommodate logistics management and
training issues, on-site support at Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, GA, and other CONUS
locations is required throughout the contract duration to support handling of logistics and
training requirements in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the expected triple increase in
assets. .
Sept 28/06: Insight Technology in Londonderry, NH, received a $9.7 million firm-fixed price
contract modification. This contract action is required to assemble and deliver 145 Block I
Panoramic Night Vision Goggles, 1,112 snap-on diaper assemblies, and 16 ANV-126-210
adapter kits. At this time, $7.3 million

These devices include image intensifier tubes, which are protective and generally water-resistant housing
and mounting systems.

The Indian Army, having long suffered from deficiencies in night fighting capability, is taking steps to
correct this gap in equipping combat vehicles with advanced EO systems. Army chief Gen Deepak
Kapoor, was quoted by Frontier India saying: Indian Armys tanks have a night vision capability of 20
percent while Pakistanis have 80 percent and China has 100 percent. Following massive procurement of
night vision devices for combat troops, the army is now set to equip its second line tanks with similar
capabilities. The armed forces will review their doctrine, capabilities and shortcomings and also identify
latest trends and technologies in next few years.

The Armys objective is to equip over 1,600 T-72 tanks that form the backbone of the countrys
armored forces, with advanced night fighting capabilities. The Armys case for acquiring 700
TISAS (thermal imaging stand alone systems) and 418 TIFACS (thermal fire control systems)
for its T-72 fleet at a cost of around $230 million is in various stages of the procurement process.
300 Israeli TISAS were installed as part of several T-72 upgrade phases, followed by 3,860
image intensifier-based night-vision devices. A huge requirement persists. 310 Russian produced
T-90S Main Battle Tanks were also fitted with French Catherine TI cameras.

As a Hand Held Thermal Imager (HHTI) Thales Sophie UF2 is a light weight, fully integrated
multi function system allowing the user to detect, recognise, identify and locate targets in day or
night. Photo: Thales
The requirements for the Indian infantry formations are equally stunning. According to Major
General RK Arora, editor of Indian Military Review magazine, the Army requires hand held
thermal imaging (HHTI) sights integrated with laser range finders, for infantry, armored, air-
defense, artillery and engineer regiments. The infantry is also looking for TI sights for medium
machine guns and sniper rifles. RFIs for night sights for AK-47 assault rifles and other small
arms have also been floated. On the horizon is the Indian Soldier System (INSAS) program,
Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is the biggest supplier of night vision equipment to the armed
forces. In 2007 the company has signed a memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Elbit
Systems Electro Optics ELOP Ltd, for the local production and support of thermal imaging
systems. BEL recently supplied 30,600 passive night sights for rifles, rocket launchers and light
machine guns, passive night vision binoculars and passive night vision goggles to the Army but
the forces remain woefully short and are looking for the latest 3rd generation technology to
reduce weight and extend the life of NVDs.
Another Israeli company to benefit from the Indian demand is
SDS; the company received significant orders for its new lines of I2 weapon sights.
For the future, the procurement of new assault rifles and carbines for the Indian Army, replacing
the INSAS currently used, will obviously require hundreds of thousands of sights, night vision
sights and clip-on viewers, creating a signifiant drive for foreign companies to establish
production in the country. The new rifles will also become part of the future infantry weapon
system to be fielded by the Indian military and special forces.
The Indian military is also embarking on the replacement on the Indian 7.62mm Self Loading
Rifle (INSAS), with a modern carbine currently in final evaluation. Through the initial screening
process the military has narrowed five suppliers from 40 that approached the Request for
Information (RFI) in 2010. Currently in the final phase are the US company Colt, Italian Beretta,
Czech weapon manufacturer CZ, Israels IWI and Austrian SIG Sauer. The Indian military plans
to buy at least 65,000 weapons directly from the winning manufacturer and follow on with local
production of about 115,000 additional rifles to be produced by the Ordnance Factory Board
(OFB). Eventually, additional procurement of 120,000 units could be added, with the planned
procurement of Close Quarter (CQB) Carbines for military and paramilitary use. The total
budget to be allocated for the program is nearly US$1.9 billion, spanned over several years. The
new rifle will weigh 3.5 kg, and use two calibers, 5.5645 and 7.6239 cal and will come with a
range of accessories, including under barrel grenade launchers, night vision scopes, optical or
reflex sights and more.

Recent deals to supply night vision goggles to the Indian and Italian militaries have given executives at ITT Exelis
reason for optimism at a time of declining U.S. Defense Department orders.

Like other major Pentagon contractors, Exelis is looking to substantially expand its international sales to offset
cutbacks in U.S. military spending. Company officials said the demand for night vision technology around the world
is growing. But Exelis future business also depends on changes to export policies that are intended to boost
American arms manufacturers overseas sales.

The United States remains the worlds largest buyer of military equipment, but sales of night vision equipment are
picking up in Europe and the Middle East, said David Smith, ITT Exelis vice president for night vision business
development, based in Roanoke, Va.

The company announced this month that it received a contract from Selex ES to manufacture several hundred i-
Aware night vision goggles for the Italian army. Unlike conventional goggles, these connect the soldier to the
tactical network. Users can receive and share video and still imagery.

Last year, Exelis formed a joint venture with one of Indias largest military suppliers, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.,
of Mumbai, to produce up to a half-million night vision goggles for that nations army.

That venture is making slow and steady progress, Smith said in a recent interview. Everything in India
[government procurement] is slow. When a solicitation comes out, you have to temper your expectations.

The company anticipates that the deal with Selex will lead to bigger sales to the Italian and other governments,
particularly in Europe, that are downsizing their armies but also are seeking to equip soldiers with more advanced
equipment. The network capable goggle is an example of a piece of gear that allows a soldier to do multiple jobs,
Smith said. This is a trend worldwide, he said. Governments are emphasizing the need to be able to continue to
meet their mission with fewer people. They are looking for technology that allows a small force to do more.

To compete internationally in the night vision market, however, Exelis needs U.S. government help. Exports of
advanced military technology are highly controlled under the International Traffic in Army Regulations (ITAR) law.
Some countries, when given the choice, prefer to buy equipment outside the ITAR regime, which imposes tight
restrictions on access and transfer of technology. We are seeing a lot of [potential buyers] in the international
community saying that they don't like being told what they can receive, what level of technology they can buy,
Smith said. They are increasingly investing in technologies that are not ITAR restricted, he said. We want a level
competitive playing field.

The Obama administration has spearheaded sweeping reforms to the export control regime. But when it comes to
sensitive technologies such as night vision, products with the highest levels of performance are not exportable.

The Defense Department is working with industry to smartly review export policies, Smith said.

Exelis biggest customer for night vision systems, the U.S. Army, has dramatically slowed purchases of goggles in
recent years as a result of troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past 18 months, the company
downsized its workforce in Roanoke by several hundred employees, although it has sought to preserve experienced
engineers who will be needed to develop and build the next generation of goggles for the U.S. military.

The newest night vision goggles that the U.S. Army is purchasing are sensor fusion devices that overlay thermal
imagery on top of the traditional amber/green display. This is significant, as it allows soldiers to spot adversaries
hiding behind dense foliage. The Army calls these enhanced night vision goggles, or ENVG, which can import
and export imagery, video and data.

Exelis and L-3 have received Army contracts to produce ENVGs. The program, though, is in a state of flux as the
Army determines its future. ENVG has endured growing pains over the past four years. Current analog fusion
devices do not pipe data into the soldiers radio, and the Army would like to move to digital versions. Exelis is
producing digital ENVGs, but the technology is not advancing as quickly as the Army had predicted.

Smith said additional government funding is needed to move the technology forward. We would like to see more
investment from the U.S. government on next generation technology, he said. Everyone has been working on
digital night vision for a while, he added. The technology is not where it needs to be. With more investment from
the customer, it's possible to accelerate the advancement of digital goggles. Exelis has adapted the analog system
and gave it a digital capability to move information around, but the Army ultimately wants a purely digital ENVG.
That will require manufacturers to reduce the devices size, weight and power demands.

Companies are investing research-and-development dollars into these technologies, Smith said, but that is not
enough, especially in complex systems such as sensor-fusion night vision. Exelis would like to see the government
not only increase funding for research but also communicate to industry its future needs so companies know where
to invest, Smith said. We would like to see co-investment with industry in advance of their [the Armys] needs, he
said. For industry to continue to do this we need a commitment on the part of the customer.

ITT announces Morovision Night Vision as authorized distributor for law enforcement market
ROANOKE, Va., July 3, 2008ITT Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of night
vision technology, has named Morovision Night Vision Inc. as its authorized U.S. law
enforcement distributor of ITT Night Enforcer productsmost notably the Night Enforcer
NEPVS-14 model and associated parts and accessories.
The Night Enforcer NEPVS-14, based on the military product AN/PVS-14, is a Generation
(Gen) 3 monocular device that allows the user to adjust the gain control in varying light
conditions. It is the most widely fielded night vision device for law enforcement. This versatile
unit can be handheld, head- or weapon-mounted or adapted to a camera or camcorder.
Recently, ITT's Night Vision division announced that all Night Enforcer NEPVS-14 products
will come equipped with its proprietary Pinnacle thin-filmed tube technology. This enhanced
image intensifying tube improves clarity and resolution, and allows for a more seamless
transition when switching from low-light to high-light areas.
"With today's increased demand for night vision products, we are confident that forming a
partnership with a well-known distributor, like Morovision, will allow for an efficient flow of
our products to our dealers and, ultimately, our federal and state and local law enforcement
customers," said ITT Night Vision President Mike Hayman.
Hand-selected, preferred dealers will continue to carry ITT night vision products, like the Night
Enforcer NEPVS-14, to serve the law enforcement community. Morovision Night Vision will
serve as the authorized distributor that supplies dealers.
ITT Night Vision, based in Roanoke, Va., is the world's leading developer, producer and supplier
of Gen 3 image intensifier technology for U.S. and allied military forces as well as the homeland
security market. To learn more, visit www.nightvision.com.
About ITT Corporation
ITT Corporation (www.itt.com) supplies advanced technology products and services in several
growth markets. ITT is a global leader in water and fluid transport, treatment and control
technology. The company plays a vital role in international security with communications and
electronics products; space surveillance and intelligence systems; and advanced engineering and
services. It also serves a number of growing marketsincluding marine, transportation and
aerospacewith a wide range of motion and flow control technologies. Headquartered in White
Plains, N.Y., the company employs approximately 40,000 people and generated $9 billion in
2006 sales.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain material presented herein includes forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the
safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
("the Act"). These forward-looking statements include statements that describe the Company's
business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals, and any discussion of future
operating or financial performance. Whenever used, words such as "anticipate," "estimate,"
"expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target" and other terms of similar meaning are
intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are uncertain
and to some extent unpredictable, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or
implied from, such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause results to differ
materially from those anticipated by the Company include general global economic conditions,
decline in consumer spending, interest and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations,
availability of commodities, supplies and raw materials, competition, acquisitions or divestitures,
changes in government defense budgets, employment and pension matters, contingencies related
to actual or alleged environmental contamination, claims and concerns, intellectual property
matters, personal injury claims, governmental investigations, tax obligations, and changes in
generally accepted accounting principles. Other factors are more thoroughly set forth in Item 1.
Business, Item 1A. Risk Factors, and Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements in the ITT
Corporation Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, and
other of its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no
obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise.

Theres a lot of light in the sky on even the darkest nights, but you cant see it. Thats because its in the
shortwave infrared (SWIR) frequency band and is invisible to the naked eye, as well as to most current
night-vision systems. Yet despite uncertain economic conditions, development work is underway on
SWIR-capable night-vision technologies that will help the United States boost its shrinking lead in night
vision. Advances in SWIR technology are coming none too soon. For most of the time since World War
II, U.S. armed forces rightly have claimed to own the night, a strategic advantage comparable in some
ways to the ability to take the high ground. But now, others can claim a piece of the night thanks to their
own development efforts and to the wide availability of increasingly sophisticated night-vision products.
Most night-vision devices fall into two camps: thermal imagers, which operate in the mid- and long-
infrared light wavelengths;

When Navy SEAL snipers killed three pirates off the coast of Somalia during the April 2009 rescue of a
kidnapped American cargo ship captain, they took aim with night-vision scopes on their rifles. And in the
May 2011 raid on a Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, the helicopter pilots, the
Navy SEALs who stormed the walled hideout and according to some reports, the combat assault dog
that accompanied them were all wearing night-vision goggles on the super secret mission. But night
vision capabilities aren't limited to special operations forces. Read more here

Future Night Vision Devices: More Than Just Goggles
October 2009
By Grace V. Jean
The Army is pushing night-vision technologies into the digital realm. Future
night-vision goggles are being designed not just to see better at night but also
to allow soldiers to share images of what they see with other soldiers who
may be miles away.

Technologists agree that the goal is feasible, but contractors currently working
on these next-generation goggles are encountering challenges in meeting the
Armys requirements for power, size and weight.

The technical difficulties may delay Army plans to award a production contract next year.

Soldiers currently use traditional night-vision technology, called image intensification. These goggles
amplify non-visible particles of light to a level of brightness that the human eye can detect. They also
employ infrared thermal sensors, which sense temperature differences. Warmer items appear brighter
on a display.

The fusion of both technologies would result in night-vision goggles that merge the strengths of image
intensification a clear, sharp green-tinted picture with the advantages of infrared the ability to
see practically under any environmental condition. Green is the color that the human eye sees most

The combination of the two systems into a single optical device resulted in what the Army calls an
enhanced night vision goggle, or ENVG.

The current ENVG, however, is analog, and does not pipe data into the soldiers radio, as the Army

Were trying to transition to a digitized version, Army Maj. Theophile Kang, assistant product manager
for the ENVG program, tells National Defense. Theres a lot more things you can do with a digitized
system that you cant do with an analog system, he says. In cities, for example, streetlights can
overwhelm night vision goggles and wash out the image. But if the devices were digital, software could
help the system adjust the image, Kang says.

The Army has awarded several contracts for the development of digital ENVGs. It plans to evaluate the
designs in July to see how the technologies have matured from the previous test last year.

Soldiers will test the goggles in a variety of environments, including in urban training facilities and on
woodland patrols.

You have real soldiers giving you real feedback, says Kang.

The largest provider of night-vision technology to the military, Roanoke, Va.-based ITT Night Vision,
manufactures the ENVG for the Army. Engineers there are developing a digital version.

For the digital ENVG, the company has replaced the standard image intensifier tube with a new digital
sensor, the MicroChannel Plate Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor, or MCP-CMOS. The
microchannel plate sits inside a vacuum package between the photocathode and the electron-collecting
semiconductor array.

Rather than integrating the digital imaging outside of the vacuum, we just integrate it inside the
vacuum, says Rudy Benz, director of sensor development. He spoke at an Institute for Defense and
Government Advancement night vision conference.

The digital sensor gives better low-light level performance compared to other technologies, says Don
Morello, director of government marketing and domestic business development.

At the conference, Benz put up a slide comparing imagery taken with the new digital technology to a still
captured by the companys legacy PVS-14 monocular device. The images looked nearly identical.

But going digital does come at a price, as demonstrated by the cell phone and camera industries several
years ago. Just as those initial products were larger, heavier and more power hungry than their analog
counterparts, so, too, are digital night-vision goggles that fuse thermal and low-light capabilities

The downside to fusion is the more number of pixels you deal with, the more power you need for
processing the data from all those pixels. That starts to drive your power, and power can drive weight
and size, says Rajani Cuddapah, senior program manager of electronic solutions at BAE Systems, which
is competing for the digital ENVG contract.

A leader in thermal capabilities, the company has leveraged existing low-light level visible technologies
to develop its digital prototype, she says. In the upcoming evaluation, BAE Systems is hoping to show
advances in size, weight and power, she adds.

Five of ITTs digital ENVG prototypes were tested at Fort Benning, Ga., in late spring, and reports are
filtering back to the company.

The devices, in our opinion, still have some more work to be done specifically to reach Armys very
aggressive goal of less than two pounds, says Morello. It can be achieved with some work and some
more user feedback and some more decisions from the Army.

The Army believes that by 2014, the digital ENVG-D will be ready for production, says Kang.
The Armys program executive officer for soldier equipment, Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, says he is
confident that contractors can overcome the technical difficulties. But he says he is not surprised by the
troubles experienced by ENVG because the technology is such a huge leap from the current systems.

Its a black art to make these new systems, Fuller says in an interview. ITTs earlier manufacturing
problems with ENVG tubes were attributed to the use of pure water from the local reservoir, which had
more particulates. When youre building something that requires pure water, the particulates were a
problem, they were organic matter such as pieces of leaves, things that we wouldnt notice in drinking
water, says Fuller. We figured out how to change the filters.

The problem was fixed, he says. Smart people are making it work But there are still challenges that
come up.

The optical ENVG contract is being re-competed, with the possibility of awards being given to multiple

Were trying to expand and go with more than one source, says Kang. Theres more in the industry
base and were trying to tap more into that.

A request for proposals is expected this fall.

According to Fuller, the Army estimates that ENVGs will cost $18,000 apiece.