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NVG tubes - who makes them in Europe and what generation ?


oldsoak

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I've used issue NVG's and nightsights - Lucie , CWS etc and I curious as to where the tubes come from and how they shape up to US and Russian devices or the generations ( 2nd gen , hypergen , 2gen+ - how many ruddy generations arethere ?! ) . I'm told that US kit is the best etc, but I've never used it to be able to make the comparison - any info much appreciated

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Gen 0 - Requires active illumination WWII tech

 

Gen 1 - light amplification of 1000 x. Tube life of aprox 1500 hours

 

Gen 2 - Light amplification of 20k x Tube life of 3k hours

 

Gen 3 - Light Amplification of 35k x Tube life 10k+ hours

 

+ signifies latest technology, such as auto brightness control & light overload protection

 

Good Quality Gen2+ can out perform low end Gen3 gear by a significant margin. Some retailer's use the term Gen4 to describe the latest Gen3+ product's. Where as they are still gen3 tube's but have all the latest bell's and whistles installed.

 

 

ITT recently got hammered by the US Gov for illegally exporting high end NV tube's outside of the CONUS.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNew...T00721420070327

 

100m seems pretty light if you ask me… im not sure how the ITT exec's sleep at night knowing their product's are possibly being used by the OPFOR in the stan & iraq.

 

ITT & ATN from what I understand are the major player's in the GEN2 & Gen3 market. Retail prices for gen2 and upwards has really gone through the roof in the past 6 months. From what I have heard ITT & ATN have been purchasing high end Russian tubes to help fill their contracts with the US DOD.

 

There are a few Western Euro suppliers, but they are incredibly expensive (cashing in on the US export reg's..)

 

Dedal are one of the big Russian player's in the Gen1 & Gen2 market (Dedal produce one of the few true Gen1+ units with automatic brightness overload protection)

 

Export Restrictions are in place for all US made Generation 3 units and some high end Generation 2+ gear. The restrictions are based around the level of light amplification, resolution and features such as auto gating (superfast electronic control of the tube's power sourse to allow use in high light environments common in MOUT).

 

The latest and greatest Night Vision Device is PVS-21 with a low light and thermal channel fused into a single image. This provides a zero light capability without the use of active infrared illumination allowing the operator to remain completely covert.

 

 

Note im far from an expert in NV, just what I have picked up whilst researching for a civy NV buy.

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100m seems pretty light if you ask me… im not sure how the ITT exec's sleep at night knowing their product's are possibly being used by the OPFOR in the stan & iraq.

 

Like a baby, just like all the other recent execs who have flouted ethics and laws so they can chalk a few more bucks up on their scoreboard.

 

I note from the article that ITT was sued as a corporate entity. I see nothing indicating that executives are going to do hard time for this. Typical.

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Guest JamesG123

I once examined the remains of a M-113 driver's night vision scope (can't remember its nomenclature) that had been accidentally run over by its vehicle. The optics and light amplification tube has "Made in W. Germany" stamped on them.

 

NVGs have pretty much become a commodity. You can buy them on the open market from Russia, China, or half a dozen other countries, even off ebay. Quality varies, but its not like you can keep them out of the hands of anyone with cash these days.

Edited by JamesG123
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I've used issue NVG's and nightsights - Lucie , CWS etc and I curious as to where the tubes come from and how they shape up to US and Russian devices or the generations ( 2nd gen , hypergen , 2gen+ - how many ruddy generations arethere ?! ) . I'm told that US kit is the best etc, but I've never used it to be able to make the comparison - any info much appreciated

 

I belive Patria uses Sagem's 2gen/2gen+ -tubes in its VV2000 Night Vision Devices and VV2002 Night Vision Goggles

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The II generations are slightly misleading.

 

Active IR (gen 0) requires a light source gain around 1000-2000k

 

Gen1 was a Cascade tube used a method of cone plates and high voltage inverters used larger and longer tubes, light gain 5000-15k

 

Gen2 used a Micro channel method for amplyfing light giving smaller more compact tubes, gain around 15-20k

 

Gen3 Changed the coating on the tube to a Germainuim Arsinide coating on the tube gain 20-35k

 

Some drivers periscope I worked on had all three generations incorperated into the tube. The Tubes are also the most expensive things in the II equipment costing several thousand pound each, and are usualy made only by specialist firms. There are several gen 1 Russian equipment out there but finding spares might be hard. The one thing to remember about II is their tubes can be damaged by leaving the Objective lens uncovered in normal light conditions even when the equipment is turned off.(pet peeve of mine when I work with them, just like the finger lens cleaner).

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