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Indian Army to equip pilots with night vision goggles

The special goggles will help the pilots to operate in low ambient light conditions.

NEW DELHI (PTI): In a bid to strengthen the night-fighting capabilities of its pilots, the Indian Army is planning to procure advanced night vision goggles capable of operating in low ambient light conditions.

In a recently issued Request for Information (RFI), the army has specified that it needs goggles, which should enable the crew in helicopters to operate under “starlit conditions”.

The Army operates a fleet of 10 squadrons comprising over 200 choppers including the French-origin Cheetah and Chetak helicopters and the indigenously-built ALH Dhruv helicopters and is carrying out trials for inducting around 135 new light-utility helicopters in the next couple of years.

In the recent past, Indian armed forces have been working towards removing their ‘night-blindness’ during wars.

The night-vision devices for helicopter pilots will first be used to equip army aviation squadrons based in militancy affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir and North-East, where the choppers are deployed in surveillance and search and rescue missions on a regular basis.

As per requirement, the goggles must be able to function at high altitude also as a large number of army's airborne missions take place in such areas only.

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