The Marines are getting deadlier in the dark with this night-vision upgrade

Joseph Neigh/US Marine CorpsA Marine peers through the lens of the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles.
  • Marine rifle squads have received upgraded night-vision goggles, making them much more deadly in the dark.
  • Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina received the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles, an improvement over older monocular systems, last month, according to the Marine Corps.
  • “The lethality that it will bring is exponential,” one Marine said, as the new goggles offer better depth perception, situational awareness, and operating speed.

Marine rifle squads are getting their hands on upgraded night-vision goggles, which are expected to offer “exponential” increases in lethality, the Marine Corps revealed in a statement.

The new helmet-mounted night-vision system the Marines are receiving is the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles.

“It’s a little bit lighter than the current system, and gives Marines better depth perception when they are performing movements,” Joe Blackstone, the head of the optics team at Marine Corps Systems Command, said.

Marines first began taking delivery of the new equipment at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina last month. The infantry has been training with the goggles, learning how to operate and maintain the new night-vision devices.

Marines took delivery of the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles during new equipment training in December 2018 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.Joseph Neigh/US Marine CorpsMarines took delivery of the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles in December 2018 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Read more: Soldiers will soon be much more deadly with new night vision that lets them shoot around corners and fire accurately from the hip

The binocular goggles are expected to make the Marines deadlier in the dark because they offer far more benefits than the monocular devices. “The lethality that it will bring is exponential,” Cpl. Zachary Zapata, one of the Marines who participated in the recent training, said.

“With these new [binocular night-vision goggles], having the ability to not only use thermal optics along with it, but just the entire depth perception and speed that we can operate in is going to significantly increase, as opposed to what we were able to do in the past,” he added.

Watch the new binocular night-vision goggles in action:

While only the Marine Rifle Squad has received the new night-vision goggles, the plan is to eventually deliver this technology to the entire ground combat element. “This program office is committed to bolstering the combat lethality, survivability, resilience and readiness of the GCE,” program officials said.

The Marines are working with the Army on next-level night vision.

Army soldiers are expected to begin receiving the L3-made Enhanced Night Vision Goggles III, which feature advancements in low-light optics, thermal vision, and image intensification, this year.

Together with a new integrated weapon sight being developed by BAE Systems, soldiers will eventually be able to shoot from the hip and around corners. Ground forces will be able to “rapidly acquire and engage targets in all light levels and conditions,” BAE Systems representatives told Business Insider last fall.

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