JUNE CRANE, Ind. (NNS) – Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Expeditionary Missions Program Office (PMS 408), Visual Augmentation Systems (VAS) program began to transition Wide Field of View (WFOV) night vision goggles (NVGs) to Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) warfighters in May.
The WFOV NVG doubles the view field of traditional night vision goggles. The benefits are greater combat efficiency, depth perception, enhanced situational awareness and increased movement speed. The WFOV NVG has an 80-degree field of view, an increase in the viewable area 5.3 times greater than the current 40-degree systems.
“The Wide Field of View High-Resolution Night Vision Goggle provides additional situational awareness during mission-critical responses,” said Brenda Flanagin, assistant program manager for Visual Augmentation Systems.
Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane optical scientists measured the WFOV NVG and found combat efficiency improvements ranging from a typical 19.8 percent to a maximum improvement of 33.9 percent. Additionally, measured movement speed improvements ranged from a typical 35.2 percent, to a maximum improvement of 63.7 percent.
The WFOV NVG system was developed as part of the Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund Program, and NSWC Crane began implementing a cost effective upgrade to existing night field goggles in fiscal year 2009.
A contract is currently in place to retrofit existing night field goggles with WFOV optics. The contract saves an estimated $32,000 per comparable system and millions more in logistics and sustainment costs. The total savings and cost avoidance is greater than $39 million.
In a 5-year contract with a $48 million ceiling, NAVSEA is already beginning to see those cost avoidances in the first year.
In a recent deployment with two NECC Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams who engaged in combat operations, WFOV NVGs increased operator situational awareness across 90 percent of EOD operations.
Further testing was conducted at an Army Technical Support & Operational Analysis (TSOA) event, which supported previous combat effectiveness findings.
According to the TSOA results, “Warfighters strongly supported the WFOV F-NVG’s 80-degree field of vison and nominated this technology as a technology of warfighter interest in terms of warfighter utility.”
Baseline WFOV NVGs are ready for procurement with options to conduct warfighter community-focused customization.