Night Vision Devices, Goggles, Aimers and Pointers: Making Sense of it All!l; But Are We Adapting Faster than the Enemy?
Chinese communist troops with helmet mounted night vision brackets
"In 1985, I alerted the entire USMC to the need to obtain Armson Occluded Eye Gunsight (OEG) red-dot, collimator sights for effective night/reflex firing compared to iron sights and these findings were published in the July 1987 Marine Corps Gazette "Reflex Sights and Night Sights" on pages 37 and 38 and in several "Field eXpedients" articles thereafter. In 1990, the USMC adopted the OEG and used it successfully in combat based upon my suggestion thanks to the hard work of Major Michael Stroff III, USMCR, whose article appears below;
"We looked into a number of laser and battery powered night sights that gave an improved reference point for our shooters. During this phase Capt Rice brought in an occluded eye gunsight (OEG), a device that had been discussed and highly recommended in a Gazette article (Jul87) by Mike Sparks."
In 1995, I alerted Army SOF at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to the new see-through, red-dot, collimator sight called the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight or "ACOG" (got one from Trijicon the succesor company to Armson--and showed them it, advised the company etc.), which adopted it. I then warned Army Infantry school NOT to use a battery-operated sight, but they went ahead and adopted the M68 CCO (COMP-M) since it would be cheaper and not require fooling around with radioactive tritium that has to be replaced every 10 years. Let's hope we never run out of lithium DL 1/3N batteries! The M68 can easily lose battery power by not turning it off, so I wrote an article in Army PS magazine in 2003 showing how an on/off mark can be applied:
Now in 2005, the USMC has under pressure from Iraq "discovered" the ACOG.
What a revelation (not).
That Red China has stolen the ACOG design and is mass producing it is troubling. They adapt faster to good ideas than we do."
News about Weapons of the World at StrategyPage.com's How to Make War.
GROUND COMBAT Infantry
May 10, 2005: The U.S. marine corps is equipping most of their M-16 and M-4 rifles with ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight). This device, which does not use batteries, is a well designed scope that provides a red chevron-shaped reticle and bullet drop compensator. For daytime use, a fiber optic system collects available light for brightness and controlled contrast in the scope. At night, the system relies on tritium for illumination. The 4x32 sight allows you to get first round hits at 300 meter, or longer ranges. The sight also allows for better accuracy at closer ranges, with both eyes open. The manufacturer, Trijicon, has been making similar sights for years, and they are popular for police, hunting and military use. SOCOM has long used them, and many marines and soldiers have bought the civilian version of the ACOG with their own money. At a thousand bucks each, ACOG costs more than the rifle it's mounted on, and the users consider it well worth the price.
A Chinese firm manufactures a version of the ACOG sight, but violates the American manufacturer's patents to do so. The Chinese version sells for as little as half what the legal version sells for.
Gyrene Sergeant Todd Bowers reports how he had to purchase his own ACOG and it saved him from a sniper's bullet.
"What I purchased was an ACOG. It's an advanced combat optical gunsite (search). It's basically a scope that mounts on top of your M-16 rifle. And what it did was it allowed me to acquire targets and make sure that they weren't civilians, anybody else that might be in the way, and make sure that I was aiming at bad guys. Ironically, it ended up stopping a sniper bullet that was aimed straight at my head."
Making Sense of Night Vision
We begin with the AN/PVS-4 Night Vision Device (NVD), a large "Starlight" scope or image intensifier (Colonel Corso says is captured alien technology) that attaches to the top carrying handle of the M16/M4 5.56mm rifle/carbine or the M60/M240B Medium Machine Gun, and AT4 anti-tank/assault rocket.
If you carry it on during the daytime, its daylight cover may fall off and become lost since its not dummy corded. We need to fix this! Then without its special cover you can't zero it safely during daytime. Its knobs also like to fall off.
But--it can be made to work using "AA" batteries via an adapter and on the weapon it doesn't need zeroing changes between shooters--everyone has the same eye relief by mashing into the rubber eyepiece. Its VERY accurate once zeroed. We were able to (Battlesight ZerO) BZO the AN/PVS-4 and get amazing accuracy using the unit's indoor range. My advice: make it your OP/LP weapon, and empowerment for MGs and AT4 rockets in night operations.
The main drawback is as a scope, the AN/PVS-4 NVD is only occasionally used, its not an aid to Soldier night vision to move about except from a static observation/aiming position. If you wear image-intensifier Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) you'll have to flip them up and then look into the AN/PVS-4 NVD to aim/fire, a clumsy set-up.
So to aim/fire wearing NVGs, we have the AN/PAQ-4C aiming light which is visible only when wearing NVGs. There is also an AN/PEQ-4 which does the same thing but has a flashlight-type illuminator again only works if you are wearing NVGs. Both emit red laser beams which can be seen however by the enemy if he has night vision devices (he does). The AN/PAQ-4C and AN/PEQ-4 both fit on the end of the handguard so they don't block the iron day sights or collimators/scopes. Then there are visible light red laser beams that place a red dot or cross-hair on the target, which is helpful if you want your target to have a chance to surrender. All's well, right?
The weakness is the Night Vision Goggle itself, in situations where its dark, but not dark enough to wear NVGs, you need to use your natural eye vision. Problem is that its still TOO DARK to aim with iron sights.
While you can and should use collimator/reflex sights in this case, you still may be stumbling around in the dark.
The thinking here is to have a powerful flashlight attached to the end of your weapon to momentarily "flash" onto the target to insure its not a friendly, helpful in room clearing in MOUT situations. This is what the AN/PEQ-4 does in infared, but you have to be wearing NVGs.
So then what do we need?
TRAINING FIX: AIMSS
The situation is so bad, the Army at the urging of the 82nd Airborne Division is instituting a "Master Gunner" program to create a subject matter expert (SME) in every infantry unit who will know the exacting details to operate the myriad of night vision devices to create an Advanced Infantry Marksmanship Strategy and Standards (AIMSS) which can be seen encapsulated equipment-wise on this link:
Merging Technology And Training: The 82nd Airborne Divisions Master Gunner Program
Master Marksmen In The Light Infantry
How to Zero and Maintain the M68 Close Combat Optic
EQUIPMENT FIX: LESS OPTIC TYPES
In my opinion, we need ONE laser beam emitter, an "AN/PAQ-2000" so to speak, that can either project a visible or invisible red dot, or broad IR illumination. And it needs a powerful flashlight built-in which can accept colored lenses. It needs both a pressure switch and a steady on/off switch. This replaces the AN/PAQ-4C and AN/PEQ-4, the myriad visible laser sights and the cumbersome flashlight mounts. The projected dot is useful for close-range, fast moving situations where you are moving too fast to aim/shoot but need to place-the-dot/shoot. The OICW folks say that's what they achieve with their integrated electronics package on top of their new weapon, though its monstrously too heavy.
During the day time you need a collimator/reflex sight, like the Armson OEG (hero at Son Tay), ACOG or Aimpoint Comp M/ML adopted by the U.S. Army as the M68 reflex sight. The M68 mounts on top of the handguard like the IDF Elbit sight. Once zeroed, they work for any shooter that fires the weapon, like the AN/PVS-4 NVD.
In other words, you no longer use the iron sight rear or front sights with the M68.
In contrast, with OEG/ACOG you can still look UNDER them and use the iron sights, and in the case of the ACOG you have a scope to look farther out and identify targets and observe like binoculars, call-for-fire etc. This is why Army SF adopted the ACOG and the ACOG reflex sight (clone of the IDF's Elbit or M68 but doesn't use batteries--HELLO? why didn't we buy this???). My advice is to put better MILS scales in the ACOG to facilitate calls-for-fire. Unlike the M68, the OEG and ACOG are radioactive element-powered and do not require a constant resupply of yet another battery as the M68 requires. However OEG uses one eye seeing into a blocked or occluded red dot and some of my men simply cannot use this sight because they don't have binocular vision. ACOG is a see-through sight, but its expensive, about $1,000 each. Both OEG and ACOG are too close to the single lens of the AN/PVS-7B NVG to work in conjunction with them. However, they might work if you were wearing a AN/PVS-14 night vision MONOCULAR and one eye looked into the OEG and the other eye through the night vision mono-goggle (NVM). I prefer the mono-goggle approach in general because it gives you more peripherial vision, keeps your eyes cooler and not fogging up, and gives more depth perception than both eyes under image intensifiers.
The M68 DOES interface wearing NVGs...since the AN/PVS-7B is the "bread and butter" NVG for the U.S. military. The M68 and NVG combination is the cheapest,simplest day/night fire capability---you could move at night with NVGs. Engage targets with the M68 interface. During the day, engage with regular eyes and the M68. In those twilight situations, you mount a flashlight to verify the target, engage with the M68 red dot. If you want the ability to convince a foe to surrender, you add a visible light laser beam or the "SUPER" AN/PAQ-2000 I proposed earlier. If its darker you can aways put on NVGs.
Head spinning yet?
In fact, if you keep the outer lens cover closed on the M68, it works just like an OEG, this is a good feature if the enemy is using laser weapons against you. The only drawback is that you have to use a lithium DL 1/3N battery to power the M68.
What you are supposed to do in those situations where its dark and you can see with your eyes but its too dark to shoot with iron sights or the M68 reflex red dot, is to attach the AN/PVS-14 NVM BEHIND the M68 to get a starlight scope capability with less bulk than the AN/PVS-4 NVD.
As you can see in the photo above, lightweight thermal sights are also being fielded in elite U.S. Army infantry units to effect superior target surveillance, acquisition and engagement.
PRESERVING BATTERY POWER IN YOUR M68 CLOSE COMBAT OPTIC
What I've found to my chagrin is that its easy to to fail to turn the M68 off---so when you come to turn it back on, the battery is DEAD. The low-tech solution is to turn the M68 off, and where the knob is oriented paint a red mark with oil-based model paint in the depression in the knob. Paint another mark at the top of the M68 body, so when the two marks are together you know the power has been turned OFF (Red = stop).
So we wrote to U.S. Army PS magazine and LT Sparks had the M68 CCO suggestion published as an article with legendary artwork by Joe Kubert! Take a look below!
Paratrooper Mark Baker's Private Murphy's Law salutes Joe Kubert!
3-23. REFLEXIVE SHOOTING
Precision room clearing allows little or no margin for error. Too slow a shot at an enemy, too fast a shot at a noncombatant, or inaccurate shots can all be disastrous for the clearing team. Proper weapon ready technique, stance, aiming, shot placement, and trigger manipulations constitute reflexive shooting. Reflexive shooting techniques are used by all members of the fire team, to include M203 and M249 gunners.
a. Weapon Ready Positions.
The two weapon ready positions are low ready and high ready (Figure 3-36).
(1) Low Ready Position. The butt of the weapon is placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrel pointed down at a 45-degree angle. This position is the safest carry position. It should be used by the clearing team while inside the room, except when actually entering and clearing.
(2) High, Ready Position. The butt of the weapon is held under the armpit, with the barrel pointed slightly up, keeping the front sight assembly under the line of sight but within the gunner's peripheral vision. To engage a target, the gunner pushes the weapon out as if to bayonet the target. When the weapon leaves the armpit, he slides it up into the firing shoulder. This technique is used when moving in a single file.
Figure 3-36. Ready positions for the M16A2.
b. Stance. Feet are about shoulder-width apart. Toes are pointed to the front (direction of movement). The firing side foot is slightly staggered to the rear of the non-firing side foot. Knees are slightly bent and the upper body is leaned slightly forward. Shoulders are square and pulled back, not rolled over or slouched. The head is up and both eyes are open. When engaging targets, the gunner holds the weapon with the butt in the pocket of his shoulder.
c. Aiming with Iron Sights.
The four aiming techniques all have their place during combat in urban areas, but the aimed quick-kill technique is the one most often used in precision room clearing.
(1) Slow Aimed Fire. This technique is the most accurate. It consists of taking up a steady, properly aligned sight picture and squeezing off rounds. It is normally used for engagements beyond 25 meters or when the need for accuracy overrides speed.
(2) Rapid Aimed Fire. This technique features an imperfect sight picture in which windage is critical but elevation is of lesser importance. When the front sight post is in line with the target, the gunner squeezes the trigger. This technique is used against targets out to 15 meters and is fairly accurate and very fast.
(3) Aimed Quick Kill. This technique consists of using a good spot weld and placing the front sight post flush on top of the rear peep sight. It is used for very quick shots out to 12 meters. Windage is important, but elevation is not critical with relation to the target. This technique is the fastest and most accurate. With practice, soldiers can become deadly shots at close range.
(4) Instinctive Fire. This technique is the least desirable. The gunner focuses on the target and points the weapon in the target's general direction, using muscle memory to compensate for lack of aim. This technique should be used only in emergencies.
d. M68 Close Combat Optic.
The M68 Close Combat Optic (CCO) is an excellent close combat aiming system when used properly. Remember, the M68 is not a telescope sight.
(1) Aimed Fire. This technique requires looking through the CCO with both eyes open and focusing on the target. An optical illusion places a red aiming dot in front of the firer. The dot is placed on the target then the target is engaged with fire. The aiming dot does not have to be centered in the optic. The CCO is used in the same manner at all ranges. Therefore, there is no distinction between slow aimed fire, rapid aimed fire, and aimed quick kill techniques.
(2) Instinctive Fire. This technique remains the same with the CCO.
e. Trigger Manipulation. Rapid, aimed, semiautomatic fire is the most effective method of engaging targets during precision room clearing. As each round is fired from the aimed quick-kill position, the weapon's recoil makes the front sight post move in a small natural arc. The gunner should not fight this recoil. He should let the weapon make the arc and immediately bring the front sight post back onto the target and take another shot. This two-shot combination is known as firing a controlled pair. Soldiers must practice a controlled pair until it becomes instinctive. Clearing team members continue to fire controlled pairs until the target goes down. If there are multiple targets, team members engage with a controlled pair and then return to reengage any enemy left standing or still trying to resist.
f. Shot Placement. In precision room clearing, enemy soldiers must be incapacitated immediately. Shots that wound or are mortal but do not incapacitate the target instantaneously are better than misses but may allow the enemy to return fire. While a solid head-shot is expected to instantaneously incapacitate the enemy, a target area of 5 by 8 inches may be difficult to hit when moving rapidly in a low crouch position.
(1) Members of clearing teams should concentrate on achieving solid, well-placed shots (controlled pairs) to the upper chest, then to the head (Figure 3-37). This shot placement increases the first round hit probability and allows for a second round incapacitating shot.
(2) This engagement technique is more reliable than attempting head-shots only and is easy for Soldiers to learn, having been taught previously to aim at center of mass.
Figure 3-37. Lethal to incapacitating shot placement.
g. Reflexive Shooting Techniques During Limited Visibility. Reflexive shooting techniques are also used during periods of limited visibility.
(1) Visible Illumination. When using flashlights or other visible illumination, treat all engagements as day engagements and use the applicable technique as described above. Bright light shone into the enemy's eyes can limit his effectiveness; also, be aware that a flashlight marks your location as well.
(2) AN/PAQ-4 and AN/PEQ-2 Aiming Lights.
When using IR aiming lights in conjunction with night vision goggles (NVGs), use the instinctive fire technique to point the weapon at the target while activating the aiming light. This technique should place the aiming dot within the field of view of the NVGs and on or near the target. Adjust placement of the aiming dot onto the target and fire. Note that target discrimination is more difficult when using NVGs. IR illumination provided by flashlights with IR filters, or the illuminator that is integral with the PEQ-2, can aid in target identification and discrimination. IR illumination is also required inside buildings when there is no ambient light.
(3) AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapons Sight.
The thermal weapons sight (TWS) offers some distinct advantages over IR viewers. It does not require any ambient light and does not bloom out when encountering a sudden light source. However, its weight and bulk are a disadvantage when performing reflexive firing techniques. With the sight in the ON position, the TWS has a power-saving feature that turns off the viewer after a period of inactivity. The Soldier reactivates the sight by placing his eye against the rubber eyecup. When reactivated, it takes a few seconds for the sight to cool itself down enough to regain an image. This delay is not acceptable for Soldiers using TWS while conducting room and building clearing tasks. When performing precision clearing tasks, the TWS must remain in the EMERGENCY setting, which allows it to remain continuously active.
NOTE: The emergency setting on the TWS greatly reduces the battery life, which requires more frequent battery changes.
(4) When using the TWS during periods of limited visibility, it is best to use the PAQ-4 aiming light, with the AN/PVS-14 Monocular NVG for reflexive shooting engagements. Use the TWS when the slow aimed fire technique is appropriate. For daytime and high visibility periods, Soldiers using the TWS should not be placed on point, or be among the numbers 1 through 3 men of a room clearing team. When employed in urban operations, Soldiers must be aware that the TWS cannot detect targets through window glass. The TWS is effective in daytime for locating targets hidden in shadows.
3-24. TARGET DISCRIMINATION
Target discrimination is the act of quickly distinguishing between combatant and noncombatant personnel and engaging only the combatants. U.S. forces engage in precision room clearing to apply discriminating combat power and limit unnecessary casualties among noncombatants. Target discrimination is vital in precision room clearing. If there are no noncombatants then there is less of a need for selective engagements. However, even if an area is known to be free of noncombatants, other Soldiers moving through the area may be mistaken as enemy and engaged unless clearing team members are disciplined and well-trained in fire control and target discrimination. Even with well-trained, disciplined Soldiers, precision room clearing can result in unintentional casualties among noncombatants. Commanders must recognize this and take steps to relieve the stress it causes Soldiers.
STOPPING GLINT! BEFORE IT GETS YOU AND YOUR MEN KILLED!
The M68 CCO and the ACOG both have MIL-SPEC killFLASH! Anti-Reflection Devices (ARDs) available from the Tenebraex Company, 326 A Street, Boston, MA 02210 USA email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
M68 CCO ARDNSN 6650-01-439-5386
The killFlash(r) model M68-ARD is designed to suppress potentially compromising reflections from the orange objective lens of the M68 Close Combat Optic. This rugged, low profile killFlash(r) ARD enhances the Close Combat Optic ís use under a wide range of infantry engagement scenarios, including patrolling, MOUT, close quarters battle (CQB), and fire and maneuver operations.
The patented geometry of the M68-ARD ís honeycomb shield maintains a clear, bright view through the sight and does not interfere with target acquisition. The lightweight, low maintenance design of the M68-ARD adds virtually no additional weight to the Soldier's load, and provides essential objective lens protection against the elements and rough handling. Simple screw-in installation allows the sight's existing flip-open cover to still be used.
As well as ARDs for Army M24 sniper scopes and M22 full-size and M24 mini binoculars.
TRAINING TO SHOOT/KILL IN THE DARK
Excuses, excuses. There is no excuse on this one. If you leave your AN/PVS-4 NVD or AN/PVS-7B lens caps on you can train on them during the day time. No place to shoot?
You can invest about $120 and get a .22 LR adaptor for your 5.56mm weapons or just buy the new frangible 5.56mm ammunition. Then you can shoot lights on or off with Night Vision Devices/Goggles, no excuse.
KEEPING YOUR HEAD STRAIGHT...
Thank the Army we now have helmet mounts for AN/PVS-7B NVGs or the AN/PVS-14 NV Mono-Goggle. The internal head harness was painful to wear, resulting in Soldiers not having NVGs on, instead using them slung around the neck like "opera glasses". If you heard something by the time you placed them up to your eyes they would often be gone.
The U.S. Army Center for Lessons Learned (CALL) Reports:
"At night, carry NVGs in a claymore bag around your neck on your chest. This allows easy access and protects the NVGs from the elements."
Our observation: the Claymore bag (M7 bandoleer) too big and cumbersome.
We need a better way to carry NVGs at your chest than the claymore bag which flops around.
But you do not want to parachute jump with the NVG or NVGs on your head or in a claymore bag, so many stuff them in their BDU shirts (!). There is a better way.
Raine NVG/BINOC Chest Pouch
Black, OD Green or 3-color Desert Camou
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!
6401 S. Madison Avenue
PO Box 4230
Anderson, Indiana 46013-0230
Order line: (800) 826-5354
Fax (765) 622-7691
Voice (765) 622-7687
Chest radio pouch by RAINE Inc: http://raineinc.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=46&products_id=1762
For more info, e-mail email@example.com
We have discovered that the RAINE chest radio pouch is just large enough to fit AN/PVS-7B NVGs, and easily accepts the AN/PVS-14 NVG. You can order it from the company at the hyperlink above from RAINE. I special ordered an Olive Drab GREEN pouch from RAINE.
MOLLE-Attach-to-your-LBE Option NVG Chest Pouch
Our goal is to get NVG manufacturers and Soldiers in units to buy these chest pouches in OD GREEN and 3-COLOR DESERT, TAN or better yet MULTI-CAM and get this problem solved! I have submitted the pouch to the Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP) but I have little hope since I've submitted ideas before and there is a civilian against-everything type who vetoes most good items from the get-go. Too bad he wasn't in uniform having to live with the junk we get.
During the day, the pouch can hold a small set of binoculars for observation/calls-for-fire, though the ACOG scope with MILS scale would be simpler and lighter. My only complaint is that the pouch is in BLACK when it should be OD GREEN or BROWN. With the chest pouch securely holding the NVGs/NVG, and the string around your neck, there s little or no risk of them flying loose after parachute opening shock or running around the battlefield. When you want to attach them to your helmet, you remove them and attach.
To attach the NVGs we have went from fragile plastic click-on mounts to sturdier slide-on metal mounts both strap over the top of the Kevlar PASGT helmet.
In recent combat operations Soldiers have used the suspension hole through the center of the mount and bolted them to their helmets to eliminate the strap and possibility of it falling off if the buckle unclips. You can also "hard mount" NVG mounts to your CVC helmet by drilling a hole in the center of the hard shell and using the same PASGT Kevlar helmet bolt/nut.
CVC and PASGT Kevlar Helmet camouflage and NVG hard mounting details
However, if you are in a force-on-force training situation using MILES gear you need the strap to wear over the helmet HALO by the FRONT of the NVG mount going on the outside of the the HALO and brow of the helmet, yet UNDERNEATH the MILES HALO at the back lip of the helmet using the metal "U" clip.
The 75th Ranger Regiment uses the RACK load bearing system that has a front bib to carry NVGs and binoculars:
Ranger Assault Carrying Kit (RACK)
The Ranger Assault Carrying Kit (RACK) will accept all MOLLE compatible pockets. The RACK was designed for the members of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
The RACK frees up the hip and abdomen area by being worn on the chest thus not conflicting with a waist belt on a rucksack. Additional space for pockets is provided by a fold-up stash away bib that attaches on the D-rings mounted on each shoulder strap. The bib has a pocket behind it that will hold a pair of AN/PVS-7D's or the new M-24 mini binocular. The RACK is worn with the shoulder straps crossed in the back or H harness style. The shoulder straps are low profile webbing to work with a pack on or off and with or without body armor. All new modular pockets on the AIRSAVE aviators survival vest, Marine MOLLE system and Army Modular Load System (MLS) are compatible with the RACK.
The RACK is issued with the following components: 4 pockets that each hold 2 M-4 magazines and 2 twelve gauge shotgun rounds, 4 fragmentation grenade pockets, 1 Saber radio pocket, 1 pocket that will accommodate the AN/PRC-126 radio or can be used for General Purpose items (like chem lights, weapons cleaning kit, etc.) and 1 Quart Canteen Pocket with a stash away flap (this pocket can be used to hold more frag or 40mm grenades as well as NVG's etc), 1 leg pouch. The leg bag can be quickly snapped on and off the leg via a 2" side release fastex adapter, and can be positioned anywhere on the RACK harness.
The leg pouch provides storage for additional magazines, frags or demolitions and pyro-technical signaling devices or a standard issue protective mask. The leg pouch may also be slung on a general-purpose sling.
Woodland Camo Brand New! never issued
Also Available in 3 Color Desert
3-Color Desert Camo Photos
NVG MOUNT PROTECTOR AND RANK INSIGNIA HOLDER
When you secure your NVG mount by the front bolt of your PASGT helmet, you block your rank insignia sewn onto your camouflage cover. The mount can be damaged by a hard parachute landing fall (PLF) so many place a wad of 100 mph tape over the mount good to get you through the initial parachute jump of a forced-entry.
However, you still do no have rank showing for command and control purposes though your helmet should be camouflaged by a "rag top". Details:
Helmet camouflage techniques
And your mount is unprotected after you pull of your 100 mph tape.
To remedy this, we have created a NVG Mount/Rank insignia holder:
The NVG mount protector is a double thickness of 2 inch nylon webbing that has a oval slot in it so you screw your mount bolt through it, securing it to the helmet outside, flush under the NVG mount. It has velcro so the flap is folded across the mount to protect it and a tab to hold the ECWCS Gore-Tex Parka rank tab.
When you want to attach the NVG bracket, you open the flap and roll it back onto a piece of velcro glued to your hemlet.
This was design #1.
It was thick to roll back and required the extra piece of velcro on the helmet.
Instead for design #2, we suggest omitting the rank tab holder and sewing rank insignia directly onto the center of the flap to display rank. This makes for a thinner flap that can roll back onto itself and be secured by a single piece of velcro. The simpler design should make the protector less than $1 to make, mass produced.
The beauty of the NVG mount protector is that it can always protect the mount when not in use and provides a way to display rank for C2.
Prototype #2 NEW! PERFECTED!
To view the new Colonel "Bull" Simons NVG mount & rank/ID cover by SKEDCO:
Prototype #3 THE LATEST VERSION IN ACUPAT and MULTICAM with removable rank insignia
U.S. Commandos Test New 5.56mm Dim Tracer Ammo
by Sandra I. Erwin
U.S. Army special warfare units are considering buying a new type of armor-piercing tracer ammunition that makes it possible for sharpshootersusing night-vision rifle sightsto fire their weapons at night and not be dazzled by the muzzle flash.
Tracer ammunition uses a bullet that contains a pyrotechnic compositionsimilar to that used in a flarein a hollow base, which is ignited by the cartridge powder when fired.
It is used mostly by military units for target spotting and marksmanship training, because it allows the shooter to see the bullets trajectory.
Standard tracer ammunition creates excessive illumination or visual interferenceknown as blooming effectfor the user, when viewed through night-vision devices.
Infrared tracer, also called dim-tracer ammunition, has a special cartridge, which is invisible to the naked eye, but is visible through night-vision devices and does not cause the blooming effect.
Dim-tracer ammunition has been around for several years, but its been only recently that 5.56mm, NATO-compliant armor-piercing rounds have been available to military buyers. The infrared tracer is loaded with a special powder that reduces the muzzle flash and minimizes the signature that can expose the gunner to the enemy.
About two years ago, the Nordic Ammunition Company (Nammo) introduced a 5.56 mm, dim-tracer projectile that meets NATO requirements. The round can penetrate 15mm armor [Lav3stryker is 14mm thin] and any Kevlar helmet or vest from a distance of 100 meters.
Ever since, the company has been trying to garner international sales of this ammo, which has a tungsten core and a steel jacket, said Mart Pella, marketing manager at Nammo corporate headquarters, in Sweden. He said that U.S. Army special-operations units are now testing the 5.56mm dim-tracer rounds and possibly could acquire the ammunition for operational use. Swedens special forces so far are the only buyers of this round.
The U.S. government, however, is Nammo's biggest customer.
Projectiles that have a steel core tend to be more penetrating, but Nammo decided to use tungsten, because it has better density, Pella explained.
For future night combat, the conventional tracer must be replaced or complemented with a tracer cartridge that is not visible to the human eye, is visible with image intensifiers and creates minimal muzzle flash, he said. A sniper can aim the target and see it without being blinded by blooming. Further, if the enemy does not have night-vision goggles, he cannot see where the fire is coming fromand he will not know where to hide.
International small-arms expert Terry Gander said that Nammo is probably the only company that has the 5.56mm dim-tracer bullet. But he noted that the 5.56mm size is not the preferred sniper cartridge. They usually go for 7.62mm, Gander said.
Other experts noted that, because the Nammo dim tracer still is an unproven technology, its not clear what effects it may have on shooting accuracy and long-term barrel wear.
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