US combat troops receiving goggles that allow them to shoot without aiming

The inset image shows what the soldier can see through the wirelessly linked ENVG-III goggle and FWS-I gunsight.

American combat troops are scheduled to be adopting new optical devices that allow them to take in an immense amount of information, ranging from battlefield data to assisted aiming.

The systems act like a military-spec version of Google Glass, providing augmented reality capabilities, night vision and even the ability to aim without looking down the sights.

“We got a 100 percent increase in the soldiers’ ability to hit the target the first time,” said Brigadier General Anthony Potts, who spoke with reporters earlier this month at the Association of the US Army show.

Known as ENVG-III, the BAE Defense-designed units will have multiple features, including infrared night vision, Rapid Target Acquisition, aiming capabilities and even real-time network data from an integrated battlefield “cloud.”

By integrating the ENVG-III with the FWS-I digital gunsight, the soldier can fire while aiming from the hip or shooting around a corner. The system also features a “picture-in-picture” mode, which will allow the soldier to see two views at once: what he is looking at and what his weapon is aiming at.

According to Breaking Defense, the optics suites are scheduled to be rolling out next year, and will be heading to ground-pounders in both the US Army and Marine Corps, who hope to eventually have them issued as “common gear” to combat troops across their respective branches.

For now, ENVG-B has only a 7.5-hour battery life and will require a lot of spare batteries. In addition, the field of view is only about 40 degrees.

It is unknown how the new optics suites will integrate into the rifleman’s training and equipment, or if standard combat optics will still be required for redundancy.

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