Sunday, September 19, 2010

Army orders enhanced night vision goggles from three companies for testing in contracts worth $771 million

U.S. Army researchers are ordering 660 sets of Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (ENVG) worth $771 million from three different manufacturers for test and evaluation. Officials of the Army Research, Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., are buying the ENVG test articles from ITT Night Vision & Imaging in Roanoke, Va.; Insight Technology Inc. in Londonderry, N.H.; and DRS Technologies Inc. in Parsippany, N.J.

The ENVG are helmet-mounted night-vision goggles that blend image intensification and longwave infrared sensors for combat at night, in bad weather, and in smoke and dust. Image intensification amplifies available light from stars or other low-light sources, and while long-wave infrared detects temperature differences in objects to make humans, vehicles, and machinery stand out from their cooler backgrounds. Blending the two technologies in a multispectral imaging approach helps each sensor compensate for the weaknesses of the other.

The Army RDECOM is awarding a $260.5 million contract to ITT, a $255.3 million contract to Insight Technology, and a $255.3 million contract to DRS. Each contract is for 220 ENVG test articles and associated contracts date requirement lists.

ITT Night Vision is a longtime supplier of advanced night-vision equipment to the U.S. military, as well as to public safety organizations. Insight Technology is part of L-3 Communications in New York, which acquired Insight Technologies in February. DRS operates night-vision technology divisions in Allentown, Pa., Palm Bay, Fla., and in Dallas.

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