Harris wins USMC contract to supply night vision goggles

12 September 2019 (Last Updated September 12th, 2019 10:47)

Harris has received a contract from the US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) to provide around 14,000 squad binocular night vision goggle (SBNVG) systems aimed at improving situational awareness in reduced visibility.

Harris wins USMC contract to supply night vision goggles
A marine uses Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles during new equipment training in December 2018 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Joseph Neigh.

Harris has received a contract from the US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) to provide around 14,000 squad binocular night vision goggle (SBNVG) systems aimed at improving situational awareness in reduced visibility.

The five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is valued at up to $249m. Harris is expected to complete the contract work by September 2024.

The contract also includes spare and repair parts, as well as logistics support.

The SBNVG system is a combination of a binocular night vision device and enhanced clip-on thermal imager. It is reportedly lighter than the AN/PVS-15 night-vision goggles used by the US Armed Forces.

Harris’ night vision system will provide the marines with greater depth perception and improved target detection in extremely low light.

The SBNVG will also be able to support forces in challenging conditions such as bad weather and the presence of smoke and other obscurants.

MCSC Infantry Weapons programme manager lieutenant colonel Tim Hough said: “Additionally, the use of white phosphor provides a greater capability to see at night with more clarity, giving marines enhanced situational awareness.”

The US Marine Corps (USMC) invited proposals from the industry for the supply of a new helmet-mounted night vision system last year.

Prior to awarding the contract to Harris, the USMC procured 1,300 systems under an existing Defense Logistics Agency contract.

The systems were used for field testing to enable marines to get a first-hand experience of the technology.

MCSC Combat Optics team lead Roberto Gonzalez said: “We made the investment to procure the 1,300 systems and fielded them to two infantry battalion, so we already had a good, robust understanding of the technology we were chasing. That allowed us to quickly get through the source selection process.”

In a release, the command stated that the fielding of the new SBNVG with marine infantry units will commence next year.

Hough added: “Awarding this SBNVG contract and fielding these systems to the warfighter is one more step toward increasing the command and control, lethality and ability of the infantry squad to overwhelm our adversaries.”

The MCSC received six offers for the contract.

In April this year, Harris agreed to sell its night vision business to Elbit Systems of America in a $350m deal.