Military Review

Soldiers night vision systems and night sights for small arms (1 part of 2)


In order to provide soldiers with night vision goggles with optical channel fusion, Flir offers a M-32C thermal imager

Light the night for the infantryman!

As for individual equipment, the need for new devices arise from small units, which, as a rule, are not limited in funds, namely, from special forces. They are the first to receive high-tech devices, then as new technologies develop, advanced versions of such devices appear, the cost of previous generations begins to decline and, eventually, they enter conventional divisions. This is true for many areas, including the sphere of night vision.

This review will analyze what the market offers for a soldier, say a standard infantryman, regarding sights, night vision goggles, surveillance systems and aiming, bearing in mind that two technologies are used here, namely image enhancement and thermal imaging, although the latter not limited to night vision, as it allows to improve the soldier’s visual perception during the day and in difficult conditions.

A number of factors must be taken into account when searching for equipment used by the main infantryman. At a time when budgets are cramped, cost is definitely one of the most important factors, especially given the large number of devices that must be procured to equip a basic combat unit, in other words, an infantry battalion, which may require from 400 to 500 units of each type, namely glasses night vision for movement and sights for shooting, while observation / aiming equipment is usually provided to the unit commander at the squad and platoon levels. For night vision goggles, mainly image brightness amplifiers, the cost is determined by two factors: the number of used electro-optical converters (hereinafter referred to as tubes, one or two) and their quality (mainly determined by their generation). Using one tube for each eye allows you to maintain a certain depth of visual perception, while one tube provides the same information to both eyes and gives a completely flat image, which can be a problem for a soldier, for example, when estimating the distance to the next stone he should step on. As for the latest generation of tubes manufactured in the USA, they are usually not available to the US military or are available to a very, very limited number of countries. Recently, some export exemptions have been introduced, which allows for the export of tubes with higher performance. The number of line pairs per millimeter multiplied by the signal-to-noise ratio — this value is used in America to control equipment that enhances image brightness. In the past, the technological gap between America and Europe was significant, but at present it is virtually closed.

Soldiers night vision systems and night sights for small arms (1 part of 2)

Despite the fact that this device provides an image for two eyes, it is rather a bi-eyepiece, rather than binoculars; it is clearly visible that one eyepiece gives out one image for both eyes

Fixed thermal imagers, which provide a kind of fusion between image intensifiers and thermal imagers (infrared sensors) in one device, appeared relatively recently, but according to the manufacturers of these devices, customers are still limited to special forces. At the moment, only Americans have come to the combined points, which remain quite expensive and heavy device.

Many systems are head-mounted holders to which manual image amplifiers are attached. Some are even mounted in front of day sights so that the soldier can take aim at night. And therefore sometimes it is difficult to accurately classify these devices. Night sights can actually be of two kinds, in the form of a true night sight and in the form of a fixed system connected to a day sight. In the case of sights, both image brightness amplifiers and infrared devices can be used, providing, without a doubt, a different image to a soldier, and a different account to a taxpayer, thermal imaging sensors are still significantly more expensive than amplification devices.

However, many armies chose a thermal imaging solution for their soldier modernization programs, both in the integrated version and in the mounted version. Some even adopted integrated day / night sights, which, as a rule, further increase the cost. All decisions have their pros and cons. Some armies abandoned integrated sights and returned to modular types, not only because of the cost, but also because handling an assault rifle loaded with a relatively heavy sight can be a disadvantage in good weather. Indeed, the night component, placed in a pocket or backpack when not needed, has a completely different effect on the soldier’s fatigue. However, the total mass of the modular system is greater than the mass of the integrated system. As for pure night sights, their characteristics are often higher than those of modular sights. Combining (merging) image intensifiers and infrared devices will become tomorrow's standard, but at the moment remains a luxury. Indeed, since the word “unification” implies the use of two sensors, and as long as digital merging enhances capabilities, the usual process of distributing these devices will go, although this technology should increase the pace in order to reach the border of cost decline.

As for surveillance systems, they can be thermal or image amplifiers, monoculars or binoculars, with a built-in compass and range finder. We will look at the most basic products here, since special high-end long-range systems are topics of other articles. What to be proud of when describing the weight and size characteristics, consumer characteristics and cost of such systems is a difficult question. While the development spiral allows cost reduction, such systems are still costly and a compromise must be found here.

The photo clearly illustrates one of the ways to get stereoscopic vision by mounting two monoculars on a helmet, in this case two NVS-14 tubes from Newcon Optik, which has a large base of foreign customers

The new Photonis tube with an increased detection range greatly expands the possibilities of night vision. Currently, it allows you to identify many laser sources and may lead to rethink the use of usually invisible lasers.

The famous electro-optical converter Photonis Intense. New tubes give much greater gain and allow you to see in complete darkness

Image Enhancement Systems

Technology enhancing the brightness of the image is directly related to the used tubes. Over the past years, their capabilities have increased significantly, and they are classified according to their “generation” (Generation or, in short, Gen).

Current entry-level systems are usually equipped with Gen-2 or Gen-2 + tubes based on microchannel plates that release an avalanche-like flow of electrons before these electrons eventually hit the phosphor screen on which they will “print” the image. Gen-2 tubes have about two million microchannels and increase the number of electrons by a factor from 100 to 1000. In Gen-2 + tubes, the number of microchannels is twice as large, which contributes to a further increase in resolution, while higher levels of contrast and reaction time are achieved due to more modern types of phosphor films on the screen.

A qualitative leap was achieved by photocathodes on gallium arsenide, connected to 6-12 by millions of microchannel tubes. This is Gen 3 generation. The resolution and durability increased accordingly, although in order to reach the 10 000 working hours mark, it was necessary to apply a thin aluminum film to the photocathode to protect the coating from scattered electrons, but the number of transmitted electrons also decreased. Further improvements were made that led to the tubes with the unofficial Gen-4 designation. In them, the effect of scattered electrons on a microchannel plate is determined by auto-gating in other words by very fast shutting off the power supply of the tube to avoid saturation.

A striking example of the function autobidding. At the top, an explosion shot from the explosion with the auto-gating function enabled, at the bottom the same without the auto-gating function enabled.

European revolution

As already mentioned, Europe has closed the technological gap in the field of electronic-optical converters with America, in particular with Photonis, whose XD-4 and XR-5 auto-gating tubes are used by many manufacturers of night-vision systems. The latest addition to the company's portfolio, the Intens Revolution tube, was shown at Eurosatory 2014. A key feature of the new tube is the increased bandwidth.

If other tubes, as a rule, collect photons in the range from 400 to 900 nm, then the Intens Revolution on the one hand expands this range to 300 nm, shifting to the ultraviolet spectrum, and on the other expands to 1000 nm and more, decently moving to “red” part of the spectrum.

This not only increases the detection-recognition-identification range of Photonis estimates by 40%, but it also allows you to fully realize multitasking capabilities. Indeed, at night in the desert more photons are in the left part of the spectrum - in the green-blue zone, while in the jungle most of the photons fall into the right-hand part - red. The exhibition in a special dark room demonstrated the capabilities of the new Photonis tubes, after which the visitors had no doubts about their superiority. Photonis claims that the Intens Revolution tube can operate at night up to the 6 Level, which is less than the 100 microlux.

Another parameter that needs to be taken into account is the reduced “spreading” effect when a light source suddenly appears: the smaller the halo around the source, the better the image. Specific figures provided by the manufacturer indicate that the halo reaches a maximum of 0,7 mm in the Intens Revolution tube compared to the 1-1,25 mm in the previous tubes. In addition, the resolution remains higher in situations with bright lighting, which is very important in urban environments, where lighting conditions are constantly changing and where auto-gating is simply necessary. Photonis claims that the resolution never drops below 57 line pairs per millimeter, which allows the soldier to continue to look at the details.

Intens Revolution tubes have already been integrated into various systems and tested not only by special forces and pilots, but also at least by the police of one European country. Night vision systems with new handsets have been used by several units since the beginning of 2013, and received positive feedback. The extent to which the adoption of Intens Revolution tubes will increase the cost is not disclosed, but it is clear that this is another technology that will be adopted soon for conventional units, at least in richer countries.

The top picture demonstrates the ability to quickly auto-tune a new tube from Photonis, which allows you to keep a sharp image even when bright light sources hit the observed area. The bottom two pictures illustrate Photonis claims that its newest Intens Halo tubes create a smaller halo compared to earlier models, which allows you to maintain a distinct image even in the presence of bright light spots.

Night sights for small weapons

It all started in the United States when the first passive night sight with increased image brightness Gen-1 AN / PVS-2 was deployed in 1967 in Vietnam, and later in 1978 was replaced by the AN / PVS-4 sight manufactured by Optical Electronics Corporation ( currently part of L-3 Warrior Systems). Then, the US Army switched to thermal imaging sights, while the image enhancement technology “migrated” to other applications, mainly night vision goggles, hand-held systems, and other attachable devices and sights. Thus, it is hardly surprising that the overwhelming majority of American companies are focusing on brightening sights, but most of the products of this category can be seen in the portfolio of European companies.


The Canadian company Newcon Optik is active in the business of optronic systems for professionals and the military. All its latest image enhancement products are offered with various types of handsets depending on customer needs and financial possibilities, starting with Gen-3 tubes on gallium arsenide, Gen-3 auto-gating tubes and Gen-3 auto-gating tubes with black-and-white luminophore . The last tubes appeared a few years ago, initially at the request of special forces, and later than ordinary military, because, it is alleged, black-and-white devices reduce eyestrain when the operator or soldier must look at the device all night long, if not for several nights in a row. Customers also believe that black and white tubes provide better contrast, or at least better perceived contrast. These tubes are about 10% more expensive compared to their standard counterparts on green phosphor. All tubes are designed and defined according to the technical specifications of Newcon Optik, its products are not subject to the restrictions of the rules of the arms trade, but only under the standard Canadian export regulations.

The Pyser-SGI Muns 600 sight, based on the Photonis XD4 auto-coded handset, is connected to a telescopic sight. Muns is designed to work with day optics with an increase from x 1 to x6

DN 493 is the newest addition to the range of rifle sights with enhanced image brightness by the Canadian company Newcon Optik, whose night vision devices, interestingly, are not subject to the rules of the international arms trade.

Newcon Optik's attachable NVS-27 sight, which, like most of the image enhancement systems of this company, is offered with a green or black and white tube

Newcon Optik's newest night rifle scope with increased image brightness is the DN 493, which was introduced at the end of 2013. Compared with the previous model DN DN 463, it is much lighter, more compact and has several features that make it more efficient. The main one is the manual control of brightness enhancement by means of an adjustment knob near the eyepiece. With an 1,68 aperture, its lens with a focal length of 100 mm provides a field of view of 9 ° and an increase in x4. The device has a Mil-Dot aiming grid with adjustable brightness, corrected for wind drift and aiming angle with 0,34 increments of angular minutes. The device is powered by two AA batteries and, if the built-in infrared illuminator is not used, the operating time is 60 hours. It weighs 900 grams without batteries, length 235 mm, width 98 mm and height 80 mm. DN 493 has already achieved commercial success in the Middle East and is currently beginning to gain recognition in Western Europe.


Let's go back to Europe. The British company Pyser-SGI combined a night vision sight with image enhancement with a collimator sight, giving birth to the device under the designation PNP-MS. In the basic version, the 25 lens with a mm lens and x1 magnification can be equipped with various types of tubes, from Gen-2 + to the newest Photonis tubes, such as, for example, auto-gated XR5A. The diameter of the red dot 4 is cute (about a micron 25,4), while the field of view is 40 °. The device is powered by a single AA battery. Working time varies from 40 to more than 100 hours depending on the type of handset and battery. PNP-MS x1 can dive into 20 meters for one hour, the mass without a battery is 565 grams, dimensions are 130x77xXNNUMX mm. It is worth noting that when installing lenses with large focal lengths, the sight weight does not significantly increase by 67 grams for the x50 version with the 2 mm lens and by 50 grams for the x125 version with the 3 mm lens.


History Czech company Meopta started in the 30s of the last century. It is the leading manufacturer of night vision systems in the Czech Republic and currently owns production facilities not only in their own country, but also in the USA. The latest product to replenish the Meopta optics catalog with enhanced image brightness is the ZN4 Lynx, which is offered to an infantryman, although its increase in x4 makes it an ideal target for skilled and experienced shooters. It can be equipped with Photonis XD-4 or XR5 brightness enhancement tubes; provides a field of view 10 ° with a minimum focal length 50 meters. The device is powered by one AA LR6 battery on 1,5 volts and has a minimum operating time of 30 hours, which extends to 95 hours with a lithium battery on 3,6 volts (both figures are given for standard temperature 20 ° C). ZN4 Lynx is able to identify a person from 500 meters; Sizes 280x101x79 mm, weighs 1,15 kg with battery, holder and cover. The Czech Republic has already issued the first contract for this sight, it will provide night vision opportunities for machine gunners armed with a Minimi 7,62-mm machine gun.

In its PNP-MS, Pyser-SGI combined an image intensifier with a collimator scope, which is quite unique in the field of night vision.

In the CS-5M Gabro sight with the increase in x2.3 produced by the Polish company PCO, as a rule, tubes of image enhancement Photonis XD4 or XR5 are installed


PCO (Przemysłowe Centrum Optyki - industrial center of optics) is included in the PGZ group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa). PGZ is a renowned Polish manufacturer of night vision systems since 1976. At the end of June, the 2014 Center for the Soldier Modernization Program Tytan became the company that coordinates the work of a total of 13 enterprises. In the field of enhancing the brightness of the image, PCO offers PCS-5M Gabro, the newest version of the well-known system, which was produced for several years, initially with a side holder for attachment to small arms of Soviet manufacture. Currently, only one version with Picatinny rail is being manufactured, the newest versions are equipped with XD4 or XR5 tubes. Gabro weight 1,3 kg has an increase of x2.3 and field of view 12,5 °, works from a lithium battery R6 / AA on 3,6 volts.

Russian company SHVABE

The Russian company Shvabe offers two light night sights PN19K-1 x1 and PN23 x3. The first installs the Gen 2 or Gen 3 tubes, which provide, respectively, the 150 and 200 recognition range under standard lighting conditions. Its lens with a focal length 27 mm provides a field of view 34 °, the instrument's sight lines have a brightness control. PN-19K1 is equipped with a built-in infrared illuminator, which increases the system's capabilities at close range. When using an illuminator, one AA battery on a 1,5 volt ensures the operating time of an 1,5 hour, but when the illuminator is off, it is already five hours. Overall dimensions of the device 195x92x90,5 mm, weight 820 grams.

The weight reduction was achieved by adopting smaller tubes, the PN23 sight is lighter than the Schwabe sights on 670 grams. Gen-3 tubes are installed in the sight with x3 magnification, its focal length 80 mm gives the field of view 12 °, the system itself provides the recognition range 400 meters. An infrared illuminator is built into the device, with the illuminator turned on, the device operates 6 hours and with the illuminator turned off 15 hours.

The Mini-Rantel takes its origin from the sight of Rantel, from which he inherited the aluminum case. The sight is equipped with a base set to zero.


In Israel, the field of image enhancement devices is mainly owned by Meprolight, which is part of the SK Group, which controls other defense companies, including Israel Weapons Industries, which allows it to offer its customers turnkey solutions for small arms. To expand its portfolio, Meprolight recently acquired New Noga Light. The Meprolight catalog includes optical-electronic sights and devices, uncooled thermal sights, scopes and glasses with enhanced image brightness, laser range finders and various illuminated night sights.

The Mepro Mini-Hunter is a light gun sight, based on the Rantel universal monocular, which can accept Gen-18 + or Gen-2 3-mm tubes. The main differences from Rantel are the presence of a lens with an x2 magnification with an 18 ° field of view and a passive crosshair. In order to maintain uniformity, the Mepro Mini-Hunter has the same hardened aluminum case as the Rantel. It has a passive crosshair, which can be adjusted by ± 14 mrad with a step of 0,32 mrad. The sight is powered by a single AA battery on a 1,5 volt, which guarantees the life of the 40 hours at 20 ° C and the 20 hours at -30 ° C. Thanks to its “roots”, Mini-Hunter is extremely resistant to heat and can be used even at + 60 ° C. The compact sight has a length of 140 mm, a height of 110 mm with an installed adapter and a width of 70 mm; weight without battery, adapter or day cover is 390 grams.


The image enhancement sight, adopted by the French army for its program of the modern soldier Félin, forms its own category, since it is one of the very few day / night sights that entered service, many others chose a strengthened option. The sight is made by one of the two main suppliers of night vision equipment for the military, the French company Sagem (which is also the main contractor in the Félin program). The device is currently being actively sold, it was widely used in Afghanistan and Mali. The approach of the French army was to have day and night channels in one sight, thus two sights were developed, one with an image enhancement channel plus a day channel, and in the second, the brightness enhancement channel was replaced with a thermal imaging channel. Both versions of the device are called Sword.

The daily channel of these scopes is based on a CNS 1024x768 pixel resolution operating in the visible 400-700 nm, which provides two fields of view, wide (7,6 °) and narrow (2,5 °), formed by digital zoom. The image is displayed in a color oled-monocular 800x600 with a field of view 25 °. It is also used to output an image from a brightness amplifier located below the day channel, which is based on a tube with 1280x1024 resolution; digital zoom allows you to switch from 8 ° to a narrower 5 ° field of view. The detection range of a person / machine is 8 / 10 km in a daytime narrow field of view and 2 / 4 km in a wide field of view, the recognition range 2 / 4 km and identification 1 / 2 km, of course in good weather, while the detection range of a person at night The mode is over 600 meters. The sight is completely waterproof and weighs less than 1,5 kg, is powered by an internal battery that allows up to three hours to work, or it can be connected to the main power supply of Felin. The Bluetooth communication channel allows you to connect to the soldier's system wirelessly, send an image to the helmet display in order to look around the corner for example (Bluetooth can be replaced with a cable). The scope is currently part of various proposals for soldier modernization programs in other countries in which Sagem participates as the main contractor or subcontractor responsible for optoelectronics.

Both versions of Swage Light from Sagem have a mass less than 750 grams and a high level of unification with a thermal imaging pocket sight Thermal Imager Pocket Scope


The Canadian company Newcon Optik also has in its catalog a day / night sight in the form of NVS10MGM, which has two channels with x3 magnification and 12 ° field of view: a day channel with an 80 lens mm F / 3.8 and a night channel with a 80 lens mm F / 1.6 and Gen-3 tube. The device is powered by a single AA battery, which activates the crosshair illumination and, if necessary, also an electro-optical converter; daytime hours are 16 hours and at night 3,5 hours. NVS10MGM weighs 1,64 kg.

Another category of sights with image brightness increase is formed by fixed (or snap-on) devices in which brightness amplifiers are designed to work with daytime optical sights, which allows soldiers to add a night image only when necessary. Among these systems there are specialized attachable sights as well as universal monoculars, which can be used as hand-held surveillance devices, night-vision goggles or additional devices for sights. The latter will be discussed in the appropriate section.

The photo clearly shows the hand grip of the Flir Milsight T90 TaNS. His patented depreciation system allows you to install it on large-caliber machine guns

Milsight T90 TaNS combined with Trijicon Acog. Flir can be used with daylight optics with x1 to x8


Flir's main business is optoelectronics. This American company is one of the major manufacturers of infrared imaging systems for all types of applications, but image enhancement devices are also within its remit. In this area, it offers, among other systems, a MilSight T90 TaNS attachable sight, equipped with Gen-3 tubes with image brightness gain from 1000 to 75000. The high-brightness lens has a focal length of 50 mm and an 0.9 aperture, ensuring maximum light transmission at x1 magnification and 14 ° field of view. According to Flir, the human detection range varies from 640 meters in starlight with low contrast and to 1070 meters in a quarter moon with optimal contrast. Face identification under the same conditions is 65 and 106 meters respectively.

The sight at the factory is vised to less than ½ minutes of the angle, the accuracy of repetition is within the same limits, the sight does not need to be adjusted when mounted on the weapon thanks to its holder with one locking lever.

The T90 TaNS is equipped with Flir's patented damping system, which allows it to be mounted on standard carbines and assault rifles up to large-caliber sniper rifles and therefore it can work with day sights with an increase from x1 to x8. T90 TaNS operating temperatures range from -30 ° C to + 60 ° C, and can be submerged to a depth of two meters for two hours. Without a battery (AA or CR123) it weighs 680 grams, the length is 142 mm, and the maximum height above the 77 guide mm. This mountable sight is in service with the US Armed Forces, as well as at least one unnamed European customer.


One of the newest devices for enhancing the brightness of the image in the Newcon-Optik catalog is the NVS 27 fixed mount, introduced at the beginning of 2014. It can be connected to a daylight optical sight with a magnification from x1 to x20. It can be equipped with either a Gen-3 conventional auto-lit green tube or a white auto-lit tube with white phosphor; It has a lens with a focal length 78 mm, 1.0 aperture and 12 ° field of view. The sight has a length of 219 mm, a height of 99 mm and a width of 93 mm, powered by a single AA or CR123 battery, which guarantees 60 hours of operation at standard temperature. The ability to adapt to a much wider set of day sights required the complete processing of optics, NVS 27 can be installed only in front of a telescopic sight. Since the sight is able to withstand the return of long-range sniper rifles, it is suitable for squad shooters and can also be mounted on assault rifles. Newcon Optik has signed several contracts since the beginning of 2014, and therefore the NVS 27 scope will become the flagship of the marketing campaign in 2015.

QioptiQ offers a Merlin C mount for shooting at short distances, weighing less than 280 grams with a battery

The QioptiQ Merlin SR sight is offered for assault rifles and longer range weapons


QioptiQ from the UK, actively participating in the Fist program (Future Integrated Soldier Technology - a promising integrated technology for the soldier. The British version of the Soldier Modernization Program), supplies the British Army with many of its image enhancement sights. The company offers various standards to meet the requirements of customers, adapting the characteristics to the needs, it also pays great attention to technical support within the country and comprehensive training of personnel. QioptiQ is increasingly focused on European pipes to avoid problems with the international arms trade rules. As for the fixed systems, here the latest developments are connected with the Merlin family, consisting of four different options.

The lightest and smallest device in the family is the Merlin-C (Compact - Compact), which is actually a universal monocular that can be used as a hand-held device or mounted on a helmet. It can accept Gen-2 or Gen-3 tubes and is powered by a single AA or AAA battery. It has an x1 magnification with a 40 ° field of view, but can also be equipped with afocal adapters with an x3, x4 or x5 magnification. With the battery, the device weighs 279 grams. The Merlin-C does not have a crosshair, as it must be used in conjunction with the CQB collimator mirror sight; the sight is mounted on a rifle using a standard Picatinny rail.

Another system proposed for an ordinary soldier is a special attachable sight Merlin-SR (Short Range - close range). Like all sights of the Merlin series, it is based on a Photonis XR5 II 18 mm auto-optical converter with auto-gating. According to the company, Merlin-SR can detect a person on 730 meters on a clear starry night and almost at a distance of 1,6 km in the moonlight. The sight operates on a single AA battery on a 1,5 volt over 40 hours at a temperature of 20 ° C. Its quick-release clamping mount allows you to install it without checking the line of sight of the weapon. Crosshairs are built into the hull according to customer requirements.

The MUNS 600 attachable sight with enhanced image brightness was created by Pyser-SGI for the soldier; the number in the designation indicates the maximum recommended target distance


The British company Pyser-SGI has developed two mounted sights PNP-MUNS 600 and 900, where the number indicates the maximum recommended range. We will describe here a model with a close range, which is better suited to the needs of the ordinary soldier. In most cases, the basis of the sight is a Photonis XD-4 or XR5 tube, with auto-gating or not, or an Onyx tube with a black and white fluorescent screen.

They are mainly used by military customers, however, pipes that are free from export licenses are also available. The instrument lens with x1 magnification provides the 13 ° field of view and is compatible with daylight optics with magnification up to x16, provided that the diameter of the front lens does not exceed 60 mm. The water resistance of the sight allows you to immerse it to a depth of 20 meters for one hour. Its length is 186 mm, height 75 mm and width 85 mm; for installation in front of the day sight, he needs a Picatinny guide with a length of at least 120 mm. The sight is made of aluminum and glass polymer, weighs 690 grams with two lithium AA batteries, the battery life ranges from 40 to 100 hours depending on the type of tube and the battery itself. In recent years, these two mounted sights have become Pyser SGI's bestsellers. They are fully tested in combat conditions, although the company does not name any of its customers.


Airbus Defense & Space inherited optical-electronic assets in the form of Cassidian Optronics, which bought 2012% of CarlZeiss Optronics shares in 75,1 in the year. The remaining shares were also later bought out and in October 2014, Cassidian Optronics became 100% a subsidiary of Airbus Defense and Space, operating on the market under the new name Airbus DS Optronics with headquarters in Oberkochen, Germany.

All night vision systems now go under the new brand, although they retain their original designations. Thus, in the list of sights with enhanced image brightness, we have a fixed NVS 600 system with x1 magnification, which is part of the standard kit supplied to units of the German army equipped with the Infanterist der Zukunft - Erweiterte System (IdZ-ES, future infantryman - extended system), the main contractor of which is Rheinmetall.

The NVS 600 is based on Photonis XD4 or XR5 tubes. The XR5 tube version in combination with the Zeiss Optics ZF 4x30 standard sight has a range of detection, recognition and identification on a clear starry night approximately 2,5 km, 1 km and 500 meters. With the XD4 tube, the sight has slightly shorter ranges. The integrated service and control system provides information on working hours and on / off cycles, which simplifies the work of supply services. The sight is powered by a single AA battery, which provides operation time over 50 hours; flashing icon warns of low battery. The attachable sight has manual gain control, although automatic brightness control is also available. Also available is an optional remote control, it allows the soldier to lower the gain while maintaining a position for shooting. With a front lens with a diameter of 55 mm, the NVS 600 sight is distinguished by a 124,5 mm focal length and 8 ° field of view. With batteries and mount it weighs 870 grams; its dimensions are 205x91x78 mm.

NVS 600 is also available for the infantry unit unit equipped with the IdZ-ES kit, but the exact proportion is not disclosed. The device was widely used in Afghanistan by German soldiers and, according to the company, all systems returned to Germany in excellent condition. In addition to the German army, the NVS 600 sight is used by the German police, several European armies and police forces, the South African security forces in the Middle East, Asia and South America.

The NVS 600-IdZ sight with increased image brightness was taken by the Bundeswehr for its soldier modernization program.


Fastened sights with a gain from the French company Wilco WS545 / 555 are systems with x1 magnification, but with different diameters of the output lens, the 545 has a 25 mm lens diameter, while the 34 model with 555% has a higher contrast ratio. Green or white Gen-25 + and Gen-2 tubes are installed in the devices; they are fastened with screws to the day sight through adapters. Both sights are equipped with infrared illumination, powered by a single CR3A lithium battery on 123 volts, which ensures the duration of operation over 3 hours at standard temperature. WS60 weighs 545 grams, whereas WS630 is only 555 grams heavier; the dimensions of the devices are respectively 20x202x62 mm and 80x215x66 mm. Cable and wireless remote controls are available on request. Other options include infrared laser pointers and an eyepiece with x80 magnification for using the sight as a handheld monocular observation.

The most popular product in the Meopta catalog of the Czech company is a fixed mount NV-Mag3 with enhanced image brightness.


The best-selling product of Meopta from the Czech Republic remains the mountable NV-Mag 3 image intensifier with x3 magnification, the release of which began in the 2012 year. It is designed to work with M-RAD or ZD-Dot collimator sights of the same company.

Depending on customer requirements, the electro-optical converter can be either a Photonis XD-4 tube or an XR5 tube. The insertion of spacers between the optics and the Picatinny rail allows you to adjust the installation of the sight in accordance with the level of the eye arrow. NV-Mag 3 differs in the 14 ° field of view and allows you to detect a person at a distance of 400 meters. Power is supplied from one AA battery, either lithium FR6, or alkaline LR6; the latter guarantees a minimum of 72 hours of operation at a temperature of 20 ° C. Meopta's attachable sight weighs with battery, mount and 800 gram cover; The length is 196 mm, the height 105 mm and the width 73 mm. Due to its design, the sight still allows you to see the red dot in the middle of the field of view, even if it is mounted off-axis. NV-Mag 3 was chosen by the Czech army for its soldier modernization program (mounted on the CZ805 assault rifle).


The Russian company Shvabe offers the PDN3 device, which consists of the PO1XXNNUMX PM day sight and the PN20KT night vision monocular, both with an x21 magnification. The monocular can be equipped with a Gen-1 + or Gen-2 tube, it provides an 3 ° field of view and has a mass of just 36 grams.

The PN21KT is powered by a single AA 1,5B battery, which guarantees 10 hours of operation with the infrared light off. The monocular is connected to a day sight with a mass of 360 grams and a field of view of 13 °. The total length of the two assemblies is 258 mm, 150 mm falls on the night sight and 108 mm on the day sight. PN21KT is the direct heir of the PN21K night vision monocular.

The Shvabe PDN3 device is a combination of a monocular PN21KT night monocular and a PO1XXNNXX PM day sight
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  1. saag
    saag 25 March 2015 08: 05 New
    "... The PN-19K1 is equipped with a built-in infrared illuminator that enhances the capabilities of the system at close range."

    Is it for others to see?
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 25 March 2015 08: 10 New
      It shines in the invisible or in the weakly visible range.
      1. saag
        saag 25 March 2015 08: 15 New
        Quote: fzr1000
        It shines in the invisible or in the weakly visible range.

        What do you think the enemy does not have night vision devices, where will this light be visible as a spotlight?
        1. fzr1000
          fzr1000 25 March 2015 08: 21 New
          It all depends on the wavelength of the IR illuminator. And so the enemy in the NVD will not only be able to see, but also be able to see you.
          1. saag
            saag 25 March 2015 08: 32 New
            Quote: fzr1000
            And so the enemy in the NVD will not only be able to see, but also be able to see you.

            Of course, it may not be immediately, but they can see the backlight right away, it's like screwing a flashlight to binoculars so that you can see better :-)
  2. Thompson
    Thompson 25 March 2015 08: 10 New
    The world is slowly but surely going crazy!
  3. zubkoff46
    zubkoff46 25 March 2015 11: 35 New
    Comparing with what we had many years ago, obvious progress is visible. In the period 1968-70. had the honor of serving an emergency in 76 airborne forces (Pskov). Sometimes it was necessary to carry hundreds of kilometers of the SPG-9d on a wheeled (winter homemade ski) run. PGM-9 night non-illuminated sights just arrived in the form of a hefty pipe. What was very important for me at that time, this sight weighed 8,5 kg (and with a back box for carrying - 16 kg!). Worn by the calculation commander. The sight normally provided the range of a direct shot from a shaitan pipe, i.e. 800 meters. Power - a battery labeled ZSC in a faience case; I don’t remember its numbers anymore. The sight was afraid of flare, although it had an automatic aperture on it. After exposure (lights, flames, large tracers, close flashes of shots), it was required to be turned off for one and a half to two minutes to restore the image. The reticle was different from the standard optical sight of a grenade launcher. The field of view is greenish, a snowball ran from the center of the picture to the periphery. And so it is a product quite suitable for use. Similar in design, but smaller, were for RPG-7 (PGM-1), and for handheld computers. I was surprised - almost half a century has passed, but I remember. They studied hard, then many battalion commanders, their deputies, and also individual company ones, were participants in the Patriotic War. He himself rose to the rank of foreman, commanded a third platoon in one of the companies of the second battalion of the 234th traffic regiment.
  4. tchoni
    tchoni 25 March 2015 11: 53 New
    Yes, I agree with most commentators. Lighting devices are a thing of the past ... Because too many NVDs began to appear on the battlefield ...
  5. w.barc
    w.barc 25 March 2015 12: 44 New
    at least PNV to everyone, but better for a thermal imager) because ... modern armies advance at night
  6. Radikal
    Radikal 25 March 2015 18: 17 New
    Quote: Thompson
    The world is slowly but surely going crazy!

    What a fresh thought! wassat
  7. Throw
    Throw 26 March 2015 00: 25 New
    Article +! The right review is from principles to specific patterns.
  8. Mooh
    Mooh 26 March 2015 00: 54 New
    Everything is very interesting but there is not a word about China - a supplier of civilian night vision devices with a reasonable cost. I would very much like to know what technologies the Chinese have today and what their prospects are.
  9. Noncombatant
    Noncombatant 26 March 2015 01: 39 New
    Quote: MooH
    Everything is very interesting but there is not a word about China - a supplier of civilian night vision devices with a reasonable cost. I would very much like to know what technologies the Chinese have today and what their prospects are.

    Everyone, if you bought all the above products. The whole question is in the production base.
  10. d-shvets
    d-shvets 26 March 2015 02: 51 New
    Quote: fzr1000
    And so the enemy in the NVD will not only be able to see, but also be able to see you.

    No one makes you shine. It is written correctly for the near range, in reality, the diode illuminates not far, you enter the room and go blind after the street, because There are no light sources and it is only up to you to turn on the backlight or not.
  11. alexey12345
    alexey12345 16 June 2015 22: 34 New
    Western countries pay more attention to the development of the capabilities of their armies at night.