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Russia demonstrates night vision goggles that outshine US analogues

The helmet-mounted goggles of the GEO-ONV1 type are currently used by the crews of Mi and Ka helicopters

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The newest Russian night vision goggles for the crews of attack and military transport helicopters that outshine US analogues by their operational characteristics were on display at the exhibition of Russia’s Syria operation artifacts organized by the Defense Ministry in the State Duma on Wednesday.

As the ministry’s representative at the exhibition explained to TASS, the helmet-mounted goggles of the GEO-ONV1 type are currently used by the crews of Mi and Ka helicopters, including in Syria.

"The Russian engineers have managed to boost the characteristics of electro-optical converters and create third-generation devices that are not inferior to and surpass US analogues by some characteristics," the ministry’s representative said.

"Today only two countries, Russia and the United States, have mastered the serial production of third-generation electro-optical converters. This technology has been assimilated by two enterprises in each country, including Geofizika-NV Research and Production Enterprise, which has created on their basis modern night vision goggles GEO-ONV1 that are being effectively used in Syria," he added.

On April 12, 2016, a Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ attack helicopter crashed in Syria, killing two pilots. The air crash has been the sole non-battle night-time casualty of the Mi-28N to date.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the incident occurred as "the crew lost its bearings during the flight in a dark night over the featureless and complex terrain." The helicopter’s pilots operated the Mi-28N with the ONV-1 Skosok goggles produced in the 1990s. Following the results of the probe, all the subsequent flights of helicopters with Skosok goggles were immediately banned and the crews got new goggles for piloting.

The GEO-ONV1 night vision goggles are designated not only for firing armaments but also for take-offs and landings on rough sites and for orienteering during night-time flights.