Modern war is no longer only a war of people; it has now transformed into a war of technologies. And the United States Army is actively introducing them, becoming one of the most technologically advanced armies on the planet.
The U.S. Army’s new IVAS goggles can help soldiers see directly through the walls of combat vehicles — which empowers infantry troops to improve their situational awareness during combat operations greatly, as per a press release shared on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
And, in combat, situational awareness is key to survival.
The U.S. Army is developing its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles for close-combat forces, including mounted and dismounted troops, especially infantry.
This capability plans to send tens of thousands of new goggles into the field, which can also help soldiers see in the dark, check around corners, and even display digital maps and other tactical data on the goggles’ lenses.
Because these new goggles access feeds from the omnidirectional cameras mounted on the outside of armored vehicles, they permit a squad of 6 soldiers protected inside a Bradley or Stryker infantry vehicle, can “see” through the walls of the car, getting a clear picture of the scene without risking life and limb.
“Now guys aren’t hanging out of vehicles in dangerous situations trying to get views on what’s going on,” said Sgt. Philip Bartel of the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team to the Army, in the press release.
“Leadership will be able to maneuver their elements and get view-on-target without having to leave the safety of their armored vehicles,” added Bartel. “Maneuvering elements with that kind of information will minimize casualties and will overall drastically change how we operate and increase our effectiveness on the battlefield.”
The Army designed the IAVS goggles to perform like heads-up displays (HUD) used on fighter jets. Similarly, IAVS goggles display information like maps, video, and night vision directly in a soldier’s field of view.
Normally, soldiers have always had this suite of tactical data available, but, with IAVS, they now have instant access — a decisive advantage during combat. Rather than burrowing through their pockets for a paper map that could be based on expired intel, soldiers can quickly call up a digital map on their IAVS without looking away from the objective target.
The IAVS system can also integrate with soldiers’ weapons through a rifle-mounted thermal imaging night vision scope — additionally displaying a soldier’s surroundings within their field of vision. This would allow soldiers to point a rifle while taking cover behind cover, or around corners to check out what’s waiting through a scope — both without exposing their body to potential enemy attacks.
Soldiers may also utilize IAVS to gain access to microdrone cameras flying overhead across an active combat zone.