The U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command (REDCOM) have ordered 660 Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (ENVG) from three manufacturers for testing, toward massive fielding of new ENVGs in upcoming years. The awarded companies are ITT, L-3 Insight Technology and DRS Systems. The three contracts, each valued around US$250 million, cover the delivery of the 220 systems in the base year, (2010) and options for the delivery of production quantities in the years 2011-2013. The Army is expecting to field new and improved digital fused imaging goggles by 2014.
Sofar ITT has been producing the Army’s first generation AN/PSQ-20 ENVG under a sole source indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract worth about $560 million. This contract expires by the end of 2010. ITT has already provided over 2,400 ENVG systems with another 6,500 to be delivered on the current contract.
The development of the ENVG began in the year 2000. First models were fielded in 2008 with special operations units. By early 2009 the 10th Mountain Division was the first regular Army unit to receive few hundred items. The recent follow-on contracts address an ENVG follow-on program, with ITT has addressed with an updated version of the current ENVG system, called ‘Spiral Enhanced Night Vision Goggle’ (SENVG). This new device is designed to meet high volume production rates and the critical performance requirements of the ground-based soldier.
The SENVG incorporates the 18 mm image intensifier tube and a display beam combiner assembly (DBCA) utilizing an OLED-XL microdisplay produced by eMagin. The SENVG utilizes several qualified ENVG subassemblies and is powered by three AA batteries, which reduces the logistics burden and gives the customer an estimated $130 million savings over the product’s life cycle. Through various system enhancements the SENVG has a digital upgrade capability that will allow the goggle to export fused imagery for transmission via battlefield networks.
Since the fielding of the ENVG PEO Soldier has been delivering ENVGs and in parallel, developing a lighter, more rugged digital system (ENVG-D), that will also support image transfer and display of images from other sensors and sights, Digital Video Recorders (DVR) and remote computing devices. The current systems are significantly more expensive and heavier, compared to the systems they are intended to replace – PVS-7 and PVS-14. The new ENVG (D) is expected to overcome these weaknesses and meet the Army’s objective weight and cost requirements.
Read more on the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (ENVG) on Defense-Update.