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The night combat capability is crucial to dominate today's battlefield. The future of night vision is a combination of image intensifiers, thermal imaging device and link with digital information. Although no one denies that this capability enables superior to the often poor-equipped enemy, the equipment of many armed forces is poor, only exceptions are special forces. Even in the army, there are still large construction sites, the first measures were taken.

So the report of the Federal Ministry of Defense for military affairs in June 2019 refer to: "The current stocks of platform unbound night vision goggles amount to about 11,500 image intensifier goggles (s) easily and approximately 1,700 image intensifier goggles (s), binocular, motorists. For a task-oriented features of the overall needs of the armed forces for a cross-sectional night vision is about 120,000 night vision goggles. In the future, should also be suitable for the guidance of all Kraftfahrfzeugen image intensifier goggles. This means that the Bundeswehr covers the current demand just to approximately ten per cent, so there is still much to do and for industry opportunities for good business.

significant increase

The goal is the significant increase in night vision / night combat capability in all areas. This will pull through all areas even at the hand weapons. Therefore, laser light modules Standard are for each project. And all weapons optics are required to have a full night combat capability, meaning they must be operational with attachments or in conjunction with night vision goggles.

Basis for any measure is the concept of "platform Unbound night vision of the Bundeswehr" of 2016. It is geared towards the concept of "small arms of the Bundeswehr", especially with regard to the requirements for driving ranges and the ability levels. The qualification levels is divided into four stages, with Stage 4, the special forces of the army are located at the top, with Level 3 followed by the Specialized forces, stage 2, the forces with a dismounted mission as a main task and the support forces of the Special and Specialized forces and with level 1 all other forces for land operations.

current examples

According to the report the Ministry of Defense to military matters attributable to the issue currently 20 projects:

  • seven projects to night vision goggles in initial or supplementary equipment,
  • five projects for telescopes and thermal observation devices and
  • eight projects to target aids or target devices.

already attained some 70 percent are planned for the 19th legislative term of the German Bundestag in sourcing more than 9,800 night vision goggles, under contract. By the end of April already 20 per cent of these units were delivered by the end of the year, further happen and for the remaining 30 percent are the preparations for a contract.

A very kronkretes Example: Theon Germany GmbH has received an order 906 night vision goggles NYX (Theon) for the Special Forces Command (KSK), the delivery should begin this year. The NYX is adjusted in parts of the KSK-by claims, and includes 18 mm tubes of Harris (until the completion of the acquisition by Elbit). The glasses are an adaptive development and will probably be introduced under the name BivBrille NYX SpezKr, it comes, among others with its own head support system on MESH-based Theon.

Infanteristische Nachtkampffähigkeit in der Bundeswehr

For the new rifle special forces G95k 1,745 laser light modules from Rheinmetall be obtained, one for each gun. The same applies to the successor to the G36. In addition to the bid for the new standard rifle of the Bundeswehr a tender for the optics and laser light module is to take place simultaneously. With around 130,000 almost every rifle will be equipped with a laser light module. Guns should be demanded in the future only in the status Optical Ready or equal to a corresponding red dot sight and laser light module.

Among the already mentioned night vision goggles least 2,200 monitoring devices or attachments are to be added from 2020. For the immediate requirement for NATO spearhead in 2023 the procurement of the first batch of 5,500 image intensifier goggles is initiated. The procurement is carried out in cooperation with NATO partners and the armaments agency OCCAR from the 2022nd To meet the structural needs even begin should again be added from 2023 over 41,000 image intensifier goggles to initiate new projects.

Bundeswehr equipment

With the introduction of the system Future Soldier-ES a quantum leap has taken place in the night vision, so among other things, the devices NYXUS BIRD (Jenoptik) LUCIE II D / IR (Thales), DRAGON C and MERLIN LR were ((for G28) both Qioptiq), JIM LR (Safran Electronics) or the mosquito (Vectronix) introduced. The LUCIE Thales is inserted in the dismounted forces than standard glasses for military use of the infantry, added the LUCIE IID (in units of the Future), LUCIE IIDIR (in units of the Future in combination with a module thermal imaging device) and MONIE (monocular night vision goggles in lower quantities). When Goggles for military drivers who BONIE-M is used. Added in small quantities, the L3 PVS-14 or the L3 GPNGV-18 (Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles - with 4 x 18 mm tubes) and the AN / PSQ 36 (Fusion goggle Enhanced) when KSK.

Die aktuellste Beschaffung ist die BiV-Brille leicht, mit mehr als 4.000 Stück (rund. 1.000 für das Heer) der TELEFUNKEN RACOMS XACT nv33. Dabei handelt es sich um eine nach deutschen Forderungen (Kopftragesystem, Schaltbaugruppe) angepasste, 450 gr. leichte, binokularen Bildverstärkerbrille. Dieses Binokularbrille hat eine einfache Vergrößerung, ein 40° Sehfeld, bietet 2.300 FOM, ist autogated und verwendet zwei 16 mm Photonis-Röhren. Sie wird in Teilen die bisherige Standardbrille Thales LUCIE ersetzen.

Author: André Forkert