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Jul 07, 2023 | 12:12 pm 775 0

The value of night vision devices in modern warfare.


The value of night vision devices in modern warfare.

The unstable situation in the world and the imperial ambitions of some leaders of states lead to many military conflicts. Both sides use various night vision devices (NVDs), which help to gain an advantage over the enemy during combat operations at night. Often, such optics becomes a critical success factor and allows you to win modern wars even against initially stronger armies.

Evolution of military NVDs

The entire history of NVDs is inextricably linked with military affairs. The first models of these devices appeared at the beginning of World War II with the German army. With their help, it was possible to identify equipment and soldiers in the dark, making it possible to carry out military operations after sunset. These devices were as simple as possible and sometimes provided the desired result. They only a few times increased the available light, making it possible to consider the outlines of objects without any additional details. Their massive size and weight made the optics inconvenient to use. Also, the fragility of various structural information was considered a disadvantage of such NVDs.

After the end of the war, the Americans began work on the modernization of optics. They took German NVDs as a basis, improved them, and introduced entirely new devices. This optic was much more compact and lightweight. Its functionality has also expanded, and many characteristics have improved. The following two decades were spent perfecting American NVDs. The work resulted in the emergence of better devices that could be used during military operations. The presence of these models was kept secret for a long time, so only military personnel knew about them. NVDs were first tested in action during the Vietnam War. American soldiers used them to detect enemies hiding in the dark, dense thickets. The results met all expectations, which gave devices of this type a chance for further modernization.

NVDs, which are still used today, appeared in the 70s of the last century. This optics was a real breakthrough, opening up new opportunities for military personnel. Now the soldiers of different armies could carry out successful operations at any time of the day without fear of the darkness hiding the enemies. These devices have become very convenient to use. They have been significantly reduced in size and turned into more functional optics that can work effectively even with a minimum of available light. The following decades were spent improving the performance of NVDs to improve the quality of the resulting image.

In the early 90s, night optics became the basis for the success of any military operation. A striking example of this is the "Desert Storm," during which most soldiers had the opportunity to use modern NVDs. These devices achieved the desired results, so their popularity increased as quickly as possible. In the following years, night optics became indispensable to soldiers' equipment in most world armies. At the beginning of the 21st century, new generation devices appeared. They have become even more advanced and multifunctional, enabling military personnel to receive more helpful information about the enemy. This increased the efficiency of night operations and maximized the likelihood of their successful completion. Today, the evolution of military NVDs continues. Released devices are becoming more convenient and able to form the most detailed image.

Critical features of military NVDs

For military use, NVDs are suitable with specific characteristics and functionality. Also, when choosing devices, some essential features characteristic only of the highest quality optics are considered.

Features of military NVDs:

  1. High multiplicity. All models of NVDs designed for military purposes have a high magnification factor. This makes it possible to repeatedly visually zoom in on an object with a high probability of seeing its minor details. The multiplicity of NVDs can vary within a relatively narrow range. Because of this, devices with indicators of 4x and above will be the best choice for use in war. Models with lower multiplicity will also be helpful, but only for considering objects at a small distance from the user.
  2. Increased range. In war, it is advisable to use NVDs with a more extended range than those intended for civilians. In most cases, it is at least 300 meters. This makes it possible to inspect the territory from a relatively safe distance and identify even well-camouflaged opponents or their equipment.
  3. Extended viewing angle. This critical feature is common to all NVDs used by military personnel. Supplementing soldiers' equipment only with models with a maximum viewing angle in actual combat conditions is advisable. The presence of such a characteristic will make the optics more valuable on the battlefield and allow you to cover a large area with your eyes.
  4. Large lens diameter. This feature is the hallmark of all military NVDs. The presence of a large lens makes it possible to capture the maximum amount of light. It will become the basis for creating a high-quality image that will not have dark areas. At the same time, manufacturers of such optics should try to keep the dimensions of NVDs the same. Because of this, devices with a lens diameter of 35-45 mm are considered the most popular models.
  5. High definition. During actual military operations, obtaining a high-quality and clear image in which all small details will be visible is essential. Because of this, NVDs used on the battlefield are always high-resolution. It can vary within relatively wide limits but will always stay below the indicators typical for civilian models. At the same time, it is essential to remember that high resolution does not guarantee to obtain a detailed image, so you should not chase models with the highest possible performance.
  6. Wide functionality. The functions of NVDs, which are practically useless in peacetime, maybe the most important in war. Therefore, all devices intended for these purposes always differ in the most extended list of available options. All of them empower users and make the optics genuinely versatile. With its help, you can cope with most tasks perfectly.

Popular types of military NVDs

Any NVDs can be used in modern warfare. Each of them will be useful under certain circumstances and help the soldiers complete the tasks assigned by the command. Among the most popular options are classic NVDs and thermal imaging optics. The first option is a priority in cases where it is possible to use natural light emitted by celestial bodies, and the second – is in the absence of lighting. The choice of one of them also depends on the tasks assigned to the military unit. Thermal imaging devices are suitable for assessing the capabilities of the enemy army, and classic NVDs are ideal for accurately identifying various objects (for example, to determine the types of equipment available to the enemy).

All manufactured models of night optics are divided into four generations. Only two of them are suitable for use in modern warfare. Devices from the Gen III category will be helpful when carrying out work of minimum and medium complexity. Using Gen IV models (the code name for Gen III + devices) to perform more complex and responsible tasks is better. They have improved performance characteristics and have a more comprehensive functionality, which makes them as versatile as possible.

Popular types of military NVDs:

  1. Monocular and binoculars. These types of night optics are essential elements of a soldier's equipment. Thanks to their capabilities, it is possible to perform many different tasks, from surveying the territory to reconnaissance activities. During military operations, modern models of NV binoculars and monoculars are used. They all have advanced functionality and optimal characteristics for performing specific actions. In war, devices with a durable and protected case from external influences are often used. This will eliminate any failures in the optics operation and guarantee a high-quality image. In most cases, the latter is characterized by excellent detail, allowing soldiers to consider all the nuances of the observed objects.
  2. Sight. During any military operation, it is impossible to do without snipers. These specially trained soldiers have a vast arsenal of various devices, including the NV scope. This device will become indispensable during night operations and when performing tasks in poor visibility (for example, in dimly lit areas). NV scopes used by the military are always general-purpose optics. With its help, you can observe, aim, collect information about the enemy, and help direct heavy weapons. For all these purposes, models with the highest possible characteristics and a wide range of settings are suitable. Their presence will make it possible to adapt optics to changing conditions and make it helpful in performing many tasks.
  3. Points. This night optic is ideal for military personnel. It is compact, lightweight, and straightforward to use. Due to their design, NV goggles are fixed on the soldier's head or helmet. This makes it possible to leave hands free for holding weapons and firing. Such optics form an image that appears before the user's eyes. In most military NV goggles, it is clear and has good detail. These devices complement the equipment of soldiers of different units. With their help, it is possible to see in the dark and easily navigate in space. Also, for optics owners, carrying out complex maneuvers in extreme environmental conditions will be acceptable.
  4. Camera. This device is widely used by military personnel. Unlike some other types of NVD, it is suitable for many tasks, so it is rightfully considered universal. With the help of an NV camera, you can monitor, inspect the territory, study the composition and capabilities of opponents, and collect data that will be needed to complete the task. In addition to all this, such optics can shoot exclusive videos. They will be an excellent material for training recruits and analyzing the actions of a particular unit. Video footage of the conduct of hostilities will also make it possible to assess the heroism of the servicemen and identify any illegal activities.

Use cases for NVDs in modern warfare.

Nowadays, any military action is unimaginable without NVDs. These devices achieve various purposes, from the simplest to the most complex. Most of them are only possible with high-quality modern optics.

Options for using NVDs in war:

  1. Search for equipment and soldiers of the enemy. During the war, combatants often use various NVDs to search for camouflaged equipment and enemy manpower. It is almost only possible to do this in the dark with high-quality optics, so it becomes an indispensable assistant for any unit. Classical NVDs can see soldiers and vehicles only in some illumination (for example, the light of celestial bodies). At the same time, thermal imaging models can detect them even without light. Such devices capture heat from a person and heated parts of military equipment (for example, an engine) and therefore are more efficient.
  2. Evaluation of the capabilities of the enemy army. All kinds of NVDs are ideal for reconnaissance. In modern warfare, it is the key to the success of any planned operation. With the help of various night optics, it is possible to visually assess enemies' capabilities and determine the number of vehicles and soldiers. The information received will allow the military command to make the right decision to achieve its goals and minimize its losses. It is best to assess opponents' capabilities with the help of modern NV binoculars, monoculars, and sights. All of them must have the photographic function necessary to take pictures of the equipment and manpower of the enemy.
  3. Aiming of heavy weapons. In low-light conditions, aiming heavy weapons at the target is pretty challenging. To remedy the situation in modern warfare, different types of NVDs are used. They will help to determine the distance to the object accurately, distinguish between various obstacles, and calculate the exact coordinates of the target. The data obtained will simplify gunners' work and help maximize the percentage of accurate shots. In addition, this approach will make it possible to spend ammunition economically.
  4. Carrying out offensive actions. Attacking in the dark is always more complex than defending, so in this case, the attacking army must use auxiliary equipment. The best option would be various NVDs that will make visible the dark part of the surrounding area. This will give you a particular advantage over the enemy and allow you to get ahead of them in any actions. In addition, such devices will be helpful in that they will help to determine the location of the soldiers of the defending army at any time. This will make the attack more effective and help to fulfill the tasks set by the command.
  5. Carrying out defensive actions. Any NVDs will be helpful in case of defensive measures. With the help of monoculars and binoculars, it is possible to detect the advance of the soldiers of the opposing army in advance and take the necessary measures to protect the positions held. Thanks to the NV sight, it will be possible to increase the shooting accuracy, thereby eliminating most of the enemies before the moment of direct collision with them. Other types of night optics will help identify the advancing army's equipment and determine its location.
  6. Cleaning up the territory. This process is complex and dangerous, so it is only possible to do with NVDs during its implementation. This optic will help you quickly find hidden enemies even in complete darkness and determine the location of abandoned or lined vehicles.

General pros and cons of military NVDs

All military NVDs have many advantages over models available to civilians. This makes them as helpful as possible during various operations. Such optics also has one significant drawback that everyone needs to know about.

Public benefits:

  • the ability to create a high-quality image with a lack of lighting;
  • the possibility of conducting covert surveillance;
  • simplicity of operation;
  • wide functionality;
  • efficiency in various operating conditions;
  • no noise during operation;
  • ease of maintenance;
  • economical energy consumption;
  • compact size;
  • lightweight;
  • increased strength;
  • resistance to different external influences;
  • reliability;
  • long service life.

General disadvantage:

  • High price.

Various NVDs play a crucial role in modern warfare. They make it possible to carry out successful operations in the dark, thereby complicating the tasks of the enemy as much as possible. The optics used by the military differ slightly from those available to civilians. It is of higher quality, multifunctional, and easy to use. With its help, soldiers from different armies of the world gain an advantage in the war and tilt the situation in their favor.


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