Thermal imaging and night vision have long been used on the modern battlefield, albeit in two different aspects.
Thermal imaging, for example, illuminates hard-to-see targets while night vision is used to illuminate dark surroundings.
BAE Systems have developed new military goggles that fuse thermal imaging and night vision into a single unit, eliminating the need for soldiers to carry each imaging system separately.
“On today’s battlefield, this slower [two optic] approach, which is often further hampered by heavy smoke or bad weather, compromises soldiers’ safety and can reduce mission effectiveness,” a BAE release reads. “By integrating night vision and thermal targeting capabilities into one sight displayed on the soldiers’ goggles, BAE Systems’ new solution allows troops to more easily acquire targets and engage faster.”
The US Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate has awarded BAE a five-year $434 million contract to continue the optic’s development, which is mounted on a solider’s rifle, then relays images to a head-mounted display through a Bluetooth connection.