THE THIN BLUE LINE AFTER DARK

Economical Force Modernization Options for Law Enforcement Night Vision Equipment

Abstract: Night Vision technologies have always carried a high price tag, but in recent years it has been more widely adopted in the Law Enforcement community. As departments and agencies better realize their capabilities and performance they have been incorporating Night Vision into their organizations’ capabilities. Unfortunately, they frequently encounter high costs, long lead times, and poor after-sale support.

Nightlong Industries offers a range of different preventative maintenance, refurbishment, and upgrade options and for most common NV devices that can be customized to your organization’s needs. The shared design parameters of many current Night Vision units means that existing components can be built into new housings to further offset costs.

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Our upgrade program can save organizations 75-80% of the cost of purchasing new and restore inoperative equipment to usable condition. Cost savings could allow organizations to field more Night Vision equipment, or budget for other mission critical equipment.

Night Vision technologies have always carried a high price tag, but in recent years it has been more widely adopted in the Law Enforcement community. Many agencies and departments are realizing the benefits gained from the effective use of Night Vision but are having difficulty justifying the cost of purchasing new equipment. Much of the equipment that has been purchased is poorly maintained, damaged, or is now inoperative. The tactics and use of Night Vision technologies have changed enough in recent years that the equipment that is currently issued is not always ideally suited to current Night Vision tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP’s). Many agencies and departments are now facing budget cuts that prevent the purchase of such expensive equipment.

As departments and agencies better realize the capabilities and performance of Night Vision Devices they have been incorporating Night Vision technologies into their TTP’s, training with Night Vision, and expanding their organizations’ capabilities. Much of the equipment that has been previously purchased or received through the DoD’s 1033 program is received in broken or inoperative condition. Organizations looking to purchase new Night Vision Monoculars, Binoculars and weapon mounted Night Vision systems frequently encounter high costs, long lead times, and poor after-sale support.

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Many agencies and departments are finding that their current equipment is inadequate for the TTP’s they have adopted. Some are purchasing binocular Night Vision units such as the PVS-31 and GPNVG-18 to give their special tactics and entry units increased situational awareness but at a high per-unit cost. Others are adapting their current equipment with mounting solutions such as dual PVS-14 bridges or using equipment originally intended for Aviation use (such as the ANVIS-6/9) in more rigorous ground-roles they were not designed for.

Most Night Vision devices are made up of 3 major assemblies; the image intensifier, optics assembly(s), and the housing. The Image Intensifier (I2), frequently referred to as “the tube,” is the heart of the system and comprises the majority of the cost of Night Vision devices. With proper care and maintenance the average Image Intensifier has a lifespan of 10k+ hours. Modern Image Intensifiers are very durable but can still be damaged by impacts, light and laser exposure, and recoil (in weapon mounted units). Much of this damage can be prevented by using proper helmet mounts and a retention lanyard system, training and TTP’s, and using the proper equipment for a given application. The optic assembly(s) are generally durable and are rarely damaged when properly cared for. Repair is generally straightforward and replacement is affordable for most optics. The housing and its components are the most frequently damaged components and can result in the entire unit being inoperable. However, they are easily replaced and low cost relative to the rest of the components of the device.

U.S. made Night Vision is largely composed of devices using 1 of 4 formats of Image Intensifiers; MX- 9964, MX-10130, MX-10160 and MX-11769 tubes. MX-9644 tubes are used in PVS-4/TVS-5 type weapon mounted Night Vision Units and have very few aftermarket options. MX-10130 tubes are found in PVS-7 type units and can be converted into several other types of device. The most common formats, however, are the MX-10160 and 11769 tubes, which are largely interchangeable in most types of devices and easily modifiable for increased interoperability. MX-10160 and 11769 tubes can be used to assemble a wide range of different devices, from helmet mounted monocular and binocular systems, to weapon mounted scopes and Clip-On Night Vision systems.

Due to the shared design parameters of many current night vision units, the equipment many departments have such as ANVIS goggles and PVS-14 monoculars could be assembled into various different configurations. Existing optics and Image Intensifiers can be built using different housings to offset some of the costs of the system. Two PVS-14’s could be easily converted into a Binocular System, while a pair of ANVIS Aviation goggles could be assembled into a ruggedized Binocular optimized for ground use. Devices such as the Adams Industries (AI) SENTINEL can be used with existing ANVIS-style helmet mounts to further reduce system costs.

Nightlong Industries offers repair services for most common Night Vision units and devices, from U.S. military standard AN/PVS-14, AN/PVS-7, AN/AVS-6/9 ANVIS, AN/PVS-15’s, and similar devices, to high quality, duty-grade commercial units such as the AI/SENTINEL, Night Vision Depot BNVD, and AB Night Vision MOD-3. Nightlong Industries stocks spare parts for most common Night Vision devices, and we have a range of different preventative maintenance options that can be customized to your organization’s needs.

Nightlong Industries has also partnered with Adams Industries to offer a refurbishment program that would allow you to convert your existing Night Vision equipment into all models of the AI/SENTINEL Binocular Night Vision Device. Through this program, your broken, inoperative or unusable equipment can be converted into SENTINEL Binoculars, allowing you to have industry leading operational Night Vision systems at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new.

Our goal with this program is to help agencies and departments maintain and upgrade their existing equipment to better suit their needs. Our upgrade program can potentially save organizations 75-80% compared to the purchase of new PVS-31’s. Moreover, our maintenance and repair programs can restore currently inoperative equipment back to useable condition for a fraction of the cost of replacement. This cost savings allows could allow your organization to field more Night Vision equipment, or create room in the budget for other mission critical equipment.

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About Nightlong Industries:

Nightlong Industries LLC is a veteran owned business based in Davenport, Iowa that specializes in Night Vision Sales, Repairs, Refurbishment, Consulting, and Training for both Civilian and Law Enforcement market sectors. Nightlong Industries has capability to refurbish up to 200 units per month. Current turnaround for refurbishment or repair services is 2 weeks or less from time of receipt. All units that are built and serviced are warrantied and all Night Vision equipment is built and tested in accordance with applicable Army and USMC Repair Standards on calibrated test equipment. For more information on the Law Enforcement Modernization Programs please visit www.nightlongLE.com. For all other Night Vision Equipment visit www.nightlongind.com.

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Ryan Hoover
Nine years Army Aviation Goggle Maintenance, CH-47 Flight Engineer with 600 hours of NVG Flight, Owner Nightlong Industries LLC, CAGE: 7PZ53