Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
SOCOM wants 'true color' night vision to make operators deadlier in the dark
"We own the night" has remained the battle cry of American night vision dominance for decades. Now, U.S. Special Operations Command wants to take the U.S. military's capabilities to the next level.
A special request for information published by SOCOM in late October details an upcoming technology experimentation event focused on enhancing the commands Night Vision Electro-Optics capabilities through new tech, including what the command calls "True Color Night Vision and Fused Imagery Sensors."
"True color" night vision is exactly what it sounds like: a night vision system that substitutes the green monochrome of standard night vision and white phosphor-based systems for a full-color, fully illuminated image.
According to the RFI, the ideal technology will maintain multiple night vision capabilities so far that it can achieve "[the] presentation and capture of images and full motion video of visible spectrum light (approximately 400nm to 750nm), short wavelength infrared (IR) (1.4-3mm), near IR spectrum (approximately 700nm to 1mm), and medium IR (approximately 3-5mm) displayed remotely at a resolution of -3840 x 2160 (commonly referred to as 4K UHD)."
"Target discrimination during obscured conditions (smoke, ash, snow, fog, rain, etc.) day or night is of interest," according to the RFI. "A capability that allows true color at higher illumination and switch or transition to black and white at the lowest illumination (.0001 lux) is of interest. A capability that permits target identification to a distance of 10 km with integrated lenses or provisions for add on, after-market lens is of interest."
As The War Zone noted in January 2019, the U.S. military has been pursuing such tech for the better part of three decades without much success, but commercial firms have finally achieves some practical applications of the tech in the last few years.
Consider SPI Corporation's X27 Osprey full motion video camera, which The War Zone cites as a great example of what this capability actually looks in the field:
VIDEO: Seven Magic Mountains Las Vegas filmed at midnight with SPI Corporation's X27 Osprey full motion color video camera youtu.be
VIDEO: True color night vision Osprey demo SPI www.youtube.com
The adoption and proliferation of true color night vision could prove a game-changer for U.S. special operations forces. Compared to existing night vision systems, true color could greatly aid operators in "target discrimination, target engagement, combat identification, identify[ing] friend or foe, or situational awareness via a natural appearing manner," per the RFI.
While the RFI marks the earliest possible stage of development for a new piece of gear — the technical experiment itself is only scheduled for early February 2020 at the Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida — the Pentagon has been gradually iterating its night vision capabilities for years to achieve better situational awareness among users.
In September, Marine Corps Systems Command awarded a major contract to Virginia's Harris Corporation to furnish infantry Marines with the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle (SBNVG) system that uses white phosphor image intensifier tubes to increase visibility and situational awareness over the ubiquitous yellowish-green of conventional night vision systems.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.