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Military

CHAPTER 3
CURRENT NIGHT-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT CAPABILITIES

Chapter 2, Appendix A:  Summary of SOPs
Table of Contents
Chapter 3, Part 2
1. GENERAL. This chapter provides a brief description of night vision equipment found currently at rifle squad and platoon levels in the 82d Airborne Division.

2. NIGHT VISION EQUIPMENT.

a. AN/PVS-4.

(1) Capabilities. The AN/PVS-4 is a portable, battery-operated electro-optical instrument used for observation and aimed fire of weapons at night utilizing the M16 rifle, M249 and M60 machineguns, M72A1 rocket launcher, and M203 grenade launcher. It amplifies reflected light, such as moonlight, starlight, and skyglow, so that the viewed scene becomes clearly visible to the operator. The sight does not emit visible or ir light that can be detected by the enemy. The rubber-cup eyepiece prevents any amplified light from illuminating the operator.

(2) Characteristics.
(a) Weight: 3.9 lbs
(b) Range: Starlight-400m/Moonlight-600m
(c) Magnification: 3.8X
(d) FOV: 15 degrees

(3) Limitations. The sight does not emit any visible or ir light, and uses ambient light. It is difficult to use during movement for constant scanning, and is primarily used for target acquisition. It is bulky, makes a weapon extremely top-heavy when mounted, and easily gets caught on vines, grass, and branches. The sight has a tendency to cause "white-out" to the vision of the firing soldier when used with the M60 machinegun or the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

(4) Considerations. The sight can be mounted on virtually all infantry small arms. Its variable magnification and focus make it useful for long-range scanning. It can lose its zero if jarred. The vision of the operator is obscured from the muzzle flash after rounds are fired.

b. AN/PVS-5.

(1) Capabilities. The AN/PVS-5 is a battery-operated night vision system that allows the soldier to perform various tasks during low-light conditions. It can be handcarried or headstrap-mounted to make it possible to read, do manual tasks, or conduct surveillance during limited visibility. The ir setting on the control knob controls an ir beam that can be used for observation in zero illumination or for signalling.

(2) Characteristics.
(a) Weight: 1.9 lbs
(b) Range:
1 Man size: Starlight-150m/Moonlight-165m
2 Vehicle size: Starlight-300m/Moonlight-330m
(c) Magnification: None
(d) FOV: 40 degrees

(3) Limitations. Rain, fog, sleet, snow, or smoke degrade the operation of the goggles. The goggles are less effective when viewing into shadows and other darkened areas. They also require some night light (starlight, moonlight, etc.) to operate. Operation during low-light levels will produce a noisy or grainy picture. The solid plastic face piece prevents any peripheral vision when worn with the head harness. The AN/PVS-5 is not found in Active Component rifle companies.

(4) Considerations. The AN/PVS-5 is not as effective as the PVS-7 and has been replaced in most infantry units. Its greatest advantage is that the dual eyepieces allow it to be used with binoculars for long-range scanning.

c. AN/PVS-7A.

(1) Capabilities. The AN/PVS-7A is a self-contained night vision system worn on the head or hand-held. It provides improved night-vision capabilities using available light from the night sky. The goggle enables the user to perform normal tasks such as reading, walking, driving on the ground, or surveillance during times of darkness. The goggle may be used with or without the standard battle helmet, and provides capabilities for all infantry tasks. The head harness provides a snap-on, snap-off capability for the monocular goggle that leaves the head harness in place. In the case of extreme darkness, as in a covered area, the goggle has an ir feature (ir illuminator) that allows viewing up to two meters. A built-in indicator lets the operator know when the ir illuminator is in use.

(2) Characterists.
(a) Weight: 1.5 lbs.
(b) Battery power: BA-5567 or "AA"
(c) Range: Starlight-75m/Moonlight-100m
(d) Magnification: 1X
(e) FOV: 40 degrees

(3) Limitations. The ir projector provides light for only a very short distance, and the device requires some ambient light to be effective. The head harness is fragile and needs to be padded for jumping, even in the soft case. Additionally, head harness adjustment must be included in pre-combat inspections.

(4) Considerations. The goggle is effective in cloudy starlight to bright moonlight. It can be removed quickly from the facemask with automatic shutoff. It can be detached from the facemask and used as a hand-held viewer. When the ir feature is in use, it is detectable by other night-vision devices.

d. AN/PVS-7B.

(1) Capabilities. The AN/PVS-7B is a hand-held, head-mounted, or helmet-mounted night-vision system that enables walking, driving, weapon firing, short-range surveillance, map reading, vehicle maintenance, and administering first aid in both moonlight and starlight. It has an ir projector that provides illumination at close ranges, and that can be used for signalling. There is a high-light level shutoff if the device is exposed to damaging levels of bright light. There is a compass that attaches to the device that allows for reading an azimuth through the goggles. The helmet-mount is very comfortable since the mount is not resting on the soldier's head.

(2) Characteristics.
(a) Weight: 1.5 lbs
(b) Battery power: BA-5567 or 2 X "AA"
(c) Range: Starlight-150m/Moonlight-300m
(d) Magnification: 1X
(e) FOV: 40 degrees

(3) Limitations. The device is made of lightweight plastic that can be easily broken if dropped or hit against another object during airborne operations or IMT. The head harness is bulkier than the harness of the PVS-5 or 7A, and is more fragile. The helmet mount also breaks relatively easily and should be taped or padded in the "up" position when not in use.

(4) Considerations. The ir projector can be adjusted for a wide or narrow beam. The device uses two different types of batteries, including "AAs" and the BA-5567. The helmet mount flips up easily and allows for the goggles to be quickly moved on and off the face. There is a low battery signal light inside the eyepiece. When mounted on the helmet, the device makes the front of the helmet heavier, (much like a MILES harness weights down the back of the helmet). Neither the helmet harness nor the compass are Basic Issue Items, but can be ordered through the supply system.

Chapter 2, Appendix A:  Summary of SOPs
Table of Contents
Chapter 3, Part 2



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