Belgium and Germany have identified a joint solution for their next generation night vision capability as result of a Europe-wide competition launched in May 2020.
The winning bidder was a team composed of Hensoldt Optronics GmbH and THEON Sensors SA, who will be delivering the MIKRON night vision goggle sets (NVG sets).
Under a contract placed through the European defense procurement coordination agency OCCAR-EA, the team will initially deliver 4,550 MIKRON sets for Belgium and 5,000 for Germany.
The contract also includes the provision of initial spare parts, training, documentation, 1,789 head mounting systems for Germany and initial in-service support (ISS) of five years for Belgium. The contract also secures firm prices for options that cover initial ISS for Germany, follow-on ISS for both nations, and the procurement of up to 20,000 additional NVG sets.
MIKRON NVG is a light weight, image intensified, dual tube binocular that is able to be operated helmet-mounted, head-mounted, or hand-held. The system also features an integrated infrared illuminator. For momentary configuration changes, the user can flip away each monocular separately. The MIKRON is powered by a self-contained single AA battery but can also be used with a remote battery pack for increased operating time.
The first delivery of a small number of NVG sets will take place in July 2021 to begin a campaign of operational and acceptance tests.
“Germany will carry out the equipment adoption tests,” said Belgian Lt. Col. Onckelinx, chief of the support equipment sub-section. “Step by step, they will perform tests for all the tasks that will be performed with these night vision devices. The Belgian Army no longer has the capacity to carry out such adoption tests.”
The delivery of the first production batch for Belgium is scheduled for the end of 2021. The last batch of this contract will be delivered in the first quarter of 2024.