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Army orders night vision goggles, thermal weapons sights from BAE

The two orders placed by the U.S. Army are meant to increase the lethality of soldiers at night.

By James LaPorta
Army orders night vision goggles, thermal weapons sights from BAE
The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III paired with a Family of Weapons Sights-Individual. Photo courtesy of Department of Defense

March 22 (UPI) -- BAE Systems was tapped by the U.S. Army for night vision goggles and thermal weapon sights in an effort to bolster combat marksmanship during night operations.

The company announced the two-order five-year contract, valued at more than $97 million, on Wednesday. The contract is a part of a $434 million contract awarded to BAE Systems in 2015 by the U.S. Army.

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The agreement enables BAE Systems to provide U.S. Army soldiers with the newly minted, third generation enhanced night vision goggles, or ENVG.

The new ENVG's will be wirelessly linked to the new Family of Weapon Sight-Individual weapon sight, or FWS-I, which is an infrared laser sight, meaning that the laser can only be seen through night vision goggles.

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The combination of the ENVG and the FWS-I makes up BAE Systems' Integrated Night Vision Targeting Solution.

"Aiming to provide the most technically advanced and lightweight solution possible, our goggles allow soldiers to quickly detect and engage targets for a tactical edge," Marc Casseres, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems, said in a press release.

"When fully integrated with the FWS-I weapon sight, the combined solution provides superior imagery and a target acquisition capability that can greatly increase mission success and survivability,' said Casseres.

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To put this technology into perspective, the weapon-mounted sight integrated into the soldier's night vision goggles will allow for quicker target acquisition, especially in situations when the soldier can not fully place the weapon into his or her shoulder to engage a enemy threat -- meaning, the accuracy of firing "from the hip" is increased due to the integrated technology.

The night vision goggles and weapon mounts are scheduled for fielding to soldiers between May and June of 2018.

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