Army's New Weapon: Special Goggles Allow Soldiers To Shoot Around Corners

The United States Army recently awarded BAE Systems $97 Million in orders for new night vision goggles and thermal weapon sights for the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program. The all-in-one weapon sight system allows soldiers to acquire and eliminate enemy targets through a wireless connection that transmits the weapon’s crosshairs and surrounding imagery directly into the soldier’s goggles.

BAE Systems ENVG III/FWS-I integrated system uses a wireless connection that transmits the weapon sight’s aim point and surrounding imagery directly into the soldier’s goggles. (Source: BAE)

With both units wirelessly integrated, soldiers are on the verge of using weapon sight imagery and aim to point technology that can wirelessly transmit the gun’s sights to the soldier’s goggles with one click of a button - for a quick tactical edge during close combat warfare.

In other words, soldiers are about to receive futuristic devices that replace traditional night vision goggles with integrated systems, and allow troops on the battlefield to “shoot around corners, see-through dense vegetation, and smoke, plus distinguish friend from foe,” said USA Today.

“It is no longer just a night vision device,” said Army Col. Christopher Schneider, the project manager for the system that can be worn night and day. “The enemy cannot see we are targeting him until we pull the trigger.”

BAE Systems promotional video titled: Own the night with ENVG III/FWS-I

(By integrating night vision goggles and weapon-mounted thermal sights into one system, BAE Systems’ Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) solution makes darkness a tactical advantage for the dismounted soldier. (Source: BAE Systems via YouTube)

“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 recent BAE 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,” he added.

The high-tech goggles are part of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) modernization program to keep the United States Armed Forces technologically ahead of China and Russia, which, in recent years, has shown they are quickly catching up. USA Today notes that the DoD has spent more than 17 years in Afghanistan and Iraq, as China and Russia have studied the various strategies and technologies deployed on the Middle East battlefield.

“Our adversaries have been studying our strengths and our vulnerabilities and are developing capabilities to exploit those vulnerabilities,” Gen. Mark Milley, the Army’s chief of staff, warned in a speech last year.

“They have steadily eroded our competitive advantage and are rapidly closing the capability gap that we have long enjoyed,” he added.

A thermal sight on an M4 service rifle is connected wirelessly to the new night vision goggles attached to a soldier’s helmet. (Source: Jack Gruber, USA Today)

Integrated situational awareness and thermal targeting system. (Source: BAE) 

USA Today points out that America’s rapid modernization program is the most significant in five decades, as China and Russia’s technological advancements have alarmed U.S. military officials.

“With U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the Army has embarked on its largest modernization programs since the Vietnam War nearly five decades ago to overhaul its weapons, training and tactics.

The post-Vietnam revamping transformed a large draft Army with discipline and other problems into a smaller all-volunteer fighting force equipped with modern weapons and better-trained troops.

The problems are not as desperate now, but officials are worried about the progress that Russia and China have made. Technological breakthroughs are cheaper and happen faster than decades ago when America could count on its advantages in industry and technology to power the military

“We still maintain overmatch, but they are closing the gap,” Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy said in a recent interview.

McCarthy said that Army is in the process of establishing a Futures Command headquarters — based in an urban environment with close relationships to academic institutions and local industry. The Army wants a location that “will help us think differently and get more people from the country to help us solve problems,” he explained.

At $23,000 a pop, the Army plans to field 36,000 FWS-Is and 64,000 ENGV IIIs to combat teams in the second half of 2018.

A soldier with the advanced goggles will be able to fire an assault rifle around corners or above his or her head because of the wireless sights attached to the Picatinny rail of the weapon. The ability to field the goggles before the next war breaks out will be critical for urban warfare in densely populated cities.

“We won’t be able to avoid the dense urban terrain or the megacities in the future,” said Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, deputy commanding general of the Army’s combined arms center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

War is coming. The Army is preparing.

Comments

King of Ruperts Land el buitre Sat, 05/12/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

What used to cost $3.000,000 and take up a closet now costs $3.00. To jam you need to be able to capture and digitize raw chunks of radio spectrum and retransmit it at various time delays. Any transmitters light up the battlefield and become targets.

These optical devices themselves have the potential to become beacons to give away position via retroreflection like animals eye in the dark.

Then there are optical scanners laser scanners that first scan at very low power using non visible light. The instant it detects an eyeball it pulses the laser at incredible power and permanently burns the enemies eyeball. Thus blinding all the enemy.

In reply to by el buitre

revolla King of Ruperts Land Sat, 05/12/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

America's economy is in the doghouse,

National DEBT has hit the roof,

US Navy ships are breaking down in the middle of the ocean,

their Jet Fighters are falling off the sky,

and the Space Program is pretty much dead.

 

But, hey, American Soldiers now can shoot around corners.

 

Funny, the top 10 richest countries have no such military obsession. 

 

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

runningman18 El Vaquero Sun, 05/13/2018 - 00:46 Permalink

Holding a weapon around a corner to shoot with a camera is impractical.  Only one point of contact (your shooting hand) trying to steady the weapon and fire it while absorbing the recoil and trying to keep the sight on a (probably) moving target.  This is more of an assassin's weapon; shooting at short range from a pre-staged position at someone who is completely unaware they are about to be attacked.  In an urban combat environment most of your targets are going to be obscured by walls and obstacles, too.  You better be shooting better than a 12" group at 50 yards to hit that piece of leg or arm or eye poking out.   

In reply to by El Vaquero

OverTheHedge runningman18 Sun, 05/13/2018 - 01:43 Permalink

Am I right in saying that each soldier is now a bright, visible WiFi hotspot? This is a good thing? A "smart" mortar shell would be the obvious solution to this, or the overhead gun platform in the other article, or any number of exciting things that would target a WiFi signal. Paint a big target on each soldier and send him/her/it off to disintegrate in a pink fog. Imagine if this weapon looked for wifi, not tanks: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bg9uoI8RQKc

The more of this stuff I read about, the more I am reminded of Rogue Trooper, with his deceased comrades' personalities integrated into his weapon, backpack and helmet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_Trooper

In reply to by runningman18

Bubba Rum Das OverTheHedge Sun, 05/13/2018 - 04:45 Permalink

The Russians have special acrylic suits that they have invented that do not show under thermal/ FLIR type weapon sights/ headset's...
You need to also have at least Gen II night vision to see them wearing this suit, but if the soldier is not moving even w/ Gen II night vision & up the suit blends in to the background objects...Infra red, Like FLIR will not detect a soldier in this suit either.

This all started years ago when the Russians noticed that soldiers wearing Nomex (fire resistant/ proof) fabric suits were not showing well under strong thermal imaging.../then they started experimenting w/ other fabrics while back-engineering the phenomenon.

This is something the US government does NOT want their citizens to know; but this is pretty common knowledge for preppers now; in fact there are some guy's already selling their versions of the Russian suit here in the usa.

Pretty interesting stuff when you see the tests...

Own the night? Not w/ out a thermal vision proof suit & Gen 4 night vision goggles & a lot of care when operating.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

fx Bubba Rum Das Sun, 05/13/2018 - 05:30 Permalink

The final part of this article tells you what this is really about: DOMESTIC warfare capabilities!

" “We won’t be able to avoid the dense urban terrain or the megacities in the future,”

Gee, where can that be? In Russia or China? Unlikely, because that would be a nuclear war then, where you won't need this stuff anyway. Are the US army going to invade African or Latam megacities? Ehm, hardly.

 

So where will all these megacities then be located...?

 

But yeah, the clueless folks here keep celebrating about how that will save soliers' lifes. It certainly will, but you may not like who these soldiers will ultimately end up fighting...

In reply to by Bubba Rum Das

chiburashka fx Sun, 05/13/2018 - 06:28 Permalink

Comic con and cosplay.

I see one major disadvantage with this thing: losing ability to see in 3D. And then another: the thing is too goddam clunky. What do you do if you have to quickly plunge down to the ground face down? -You get a black eye at the very least. 

Whatever artifice you use in a war will never make it up for motivation.

If you want to win a war, you must have a reason, and superior motivation than the other side. In other terms you must be right. Look at how Israel constantly loses against Palestinians despite having the best of weaponry. 

---

It's okay not to be a Jew.

In reply to by fx

OverTheHedge Bubba Rum Das Sun, 05/13/2018 - 06:15 Permalink

Great to be invisible, and have a zero heat signature, but what if you are radiating like a small sun in the radio frequency range to keep all your WiFi and Bluetooth kit talking  to each other and all your mates? You would need greater than household WiFi power to mesh with all the other members of the platoon spread out over a few acres. The opposing team might be able to intercept the data links and get a real-time update on gps positions for targeting. I see this as a very temporary arrangement, as even Houthis and other cavemen are able to get hold of interesting kit for testing purposes. Possibly an overhead drone and direct laser data link? Have to keep your warmongering to open fields or deserts - no Amazon campaigns.

How can you be stealthy, and secret, when you have half-a-dozen bits of kit transmitting to themselves, each other, and everyone else? 

In reply to by Bubba Rum Das

a Smudge by an… Lordflin Sun, 05/13/2018 - 08:34 Permalink

Served? More like force fed. My family was pretty big on weapons. As soon as we were old enough to walk they started heaping piles of weapons on us. Slingshots, bows, animal traps, bb guns, knives of every shape and size, guns, more guns, GUNS RAINING FROM THE SKY.

I think the original intent was to get us to kill each other and leave the adults in peace.

In reply to by Lordflin

a Smudge by an… a Smudge by an… Sun, 05/13/2018 - 08:55 Permalink

Maybe I can cast out a personal demon in this. I have sworn off trapping. I'll never do it again and I won't even teach people how to trap unless it's a simple survival snare. The jaw traps and box traps we used are simply hideously cruel to the animal and I'm ashamed I ever did it. I prefer wild animals in their living and thriving state.

This is not to say I disfavor population management. Last time I was back East the deer are overpopulating. Bigtime. That's not good.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

SoDamnMad espirit Sun, 05/13/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

Very few have experienced humping the giant packs our army is required to field. The soldiers will all need those eco-skeletons to move their gear (crap)around the battlefield. 

Now what happens if the enemy starts shooting bottle rockets at our exhausted troops?

Will these devices go "blind"?

In reply to by espirit

rtb61 King of Ruperts Land Sun, 05/13/2018 - 03:27 Permalink

No problem. Take an electromagnetic pulse device https://www.electronicproducts.com/Power_Products/Power_Management/How_…, bigger than the ones described. Hook it up to a diesel motor and an old fashioned generator and you can create a electromagnetic pulse electronics force field.

You can not protect from repeated pulses with fuses et al, the equipment will simply repeated trip those fuses and the equipment ceases to work properly until it finally fails.

So the more electronics you use in the battlefield, the more likely electron magnetic pulse fields become a reality. You can knock out quite a bunch of square kilometres, do your countries entire boundary and attacking becomes quite the headache, although you probably would not want to live in the EMP interdiction zone.

Once those pulses start going off, repeating over and over for days at a time, nothing electronic will make it across the border without failing. Good defence system but quite problematic for people living in border zones, even across the border, dependent upon size of the EMP device and it's coverage range and how rapidly it can pulse for how long.

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

Bubba Rum Das rtb61 Sun, 05/13/2018 - 04:59 Permalink

You can build such a device yourself, at home...W/ the magnetrons & capacitors and a control unit from two commercial microwave ovens which are high output; your own custom wave guide & custom quarter field shields to protect yourself from undirected residual EMP/ microwave radiation...
Yes, some experience w/ basic electronics assembly & knowledge is needed, but if you have that & have the understanding of the implications of doing certain WRONG things at the WRONG time & the dangers involved in such action; it's a piece of cake w/ the book: 'Poor Mans Ray Gun', by David Gunn, it's even available at amazon!

Great retirement project for anyone who used to work for places like Varian Associates, ETM Corp., Hewlett Packard, etc...

Blow up Lithium batteries @ 300 meters w/ the right machine! (-And anything they happen to be powering).
Disable the computer control systems on vehicles!Take down drones!

Even fry a Chicken on a metal rod!

In reply to by rtb61

RationalLuddite el buitre Sun, 05/13/2018 - 11:21 Permalink

About  $250 i estimate,  excluding the power supply. Trust me - these will be worse than useless up against current broad spectrum Russian jamming tech and i am sure the Chinese are not far behind.  Within 12 months Arabs will be getting Alibaba jammers for the ME if these go into the field. Fuckin useless idea that only detached morons would go with except in specialist applications.  

But an even worse scenario is if they are hacked - not only eminently feasible despite what they say but potentially could have soldiers shooting the wrong targets. This is ridiculous concept for infantry. Optical sights cannot be hijacked from a distance .

AND now your enemy can triangulate your position courtesy of the handy "I am here!" location transmissions. Often before you even know there is an enemy to engage.  Utterly  unbelievable.

In reply to by el buitre

Scipio Africanuz hedgeless_horseman Sun, 05/13/2018 - 09:06 Permalink

What might $23,000 do, for helping an American start, or expand a productive business? Think about it.

Now, for those prepping as militias to defend their freedom, uncle scam just informed you, hey buddy, no hiding place for you, we can see ya!

Tyranny, full spectrum TYRANNY is coming home to the USA! They've ironed out the bugs in the middle east. Now, it operates seamlessly, and even autonomously and it is militia-proof!...

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman