The lightweight image-intensifying goggles, which can be fitted with the miniature clip-on infrared thermal imager, will enhance surveillance and target acquisition abilities, allowing the user to detect the enemy early, react quickly and maintain a tactical edge at night.
They have been secured under a £11.5-million contract with Kent-based Instro Precision Ltd and a £3.2-million contract with Cambridge-based thermal imaging specialist Thermoteknix Systems Ltd.
The contracts negotiated by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) are expected to create or sustain around 30 jobs at Instro Precision Ltd’s HQ in Kent, UK, while around 10 jobs are expected to be created or sustained at Thermoteknix. Further jobs are expected to be created in the UK supply chain.
Keeping soldiers safe is most important
Major General Darren Crook, DE&S Director Land Equipment, said: “Ensuring our soldiers maintain a battle-winning edge, whilst also keeping them safe, is at the forefront of our minds when procuring the latest military equipment.”
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Baxter of the Army’s SO1 Light Forces added: “The procurement of these night vision systems is a step change in capability, providing image intensification combined with thermal technology, which can be fused and integrated into our digitalised soldier systems.
“Each system is truly ‘state of the art’, but when combined they transform the way we fight on the battlefield, enhancing soldier situational awareness, increasing survivability and lethality. Technologies such as these enable our soldiers to fight further, faster and smarter.”
Fielding of the NVGs and TCOS is expected to begin in January 2022.
AirMed&Rescue recently shared insights and experiences of flying with night vision goggles, identifying the areas in which further development of such devices could enhance pilot safety and operational effectiveness.