Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998 Page: 25
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5. Red formation lights (at bottom) are filtered and small IR-emitting diodes are added (top) to light assemblies.
6. This photo was taken through a set of NVGs. Without goggles, the hangar is completely dark.
7&8. Two small openings on the intake lights contain IR-emitting diodes used for the covert mode.
9. The NVIS cockpit is lit with green light compatible with NVGs.
10. The goggle assembly adds less than two pounds to the helmet.
in the cockpit on the exterior lighting panel. Most of the
external light units have two or more small windows that
contain diodes that emit infrared light for the covert mode.
The infrared light is completely invisible to the non-NVG-
USAF has taken a relatively conservative approach to
incorporating NVGs into fighter aircraft, though it has
used NVGs for special operations for some years. The US
Army has used night vision systems with its ground and
helicopter forces since the late 1960s. The US Navy
and Marines began using NVGs in some of their A-6, F-18,
and AV-8Bs in the late 1980s.
The Air National Guard has been a leader in incorporat-
ing night vision systems into the F-16. While night vision
goggles have been used by ANG air defense F-16s for air-
craft identification and drug interdiction missions since
the early 1990s, the cockpit and external lighting were
never modified to accommodate NVGs. (F-16 air defense
pilots use lightsticks mounted in the cockpit.) The ANG
is making a concentrated effort to install NVIS in its
entire F-16 fleet as one of four corners in its "combat
quadrangle." The quadrangle includes other capability
upgrades and modifications for improving night opera-
tions, combat identification, high-threat survivability, and
precision attack. The 163rd FS at Fort Wayne and the
AATC in Tucson, Arizona, are leading the ANG in its night
USAF night vision efforts are concentrated on its A-10
and Block 40 F-16s. All A-10s and Aviano F-16s will be
NVIS-equipped by early 1998. (Northrop Grumman is
modifying the A-10s.) F-16 Block 40s at Eielson AFB,
Alaska (PACAF), and at Cannon AFB, New Mexico (ACC),
are expected to follow soon.
European F-16 operators will see night vision compatible
cockpit lighting with the Mid-Life Update, or MLU. This
capability is one of many in a long list of improvements
that accompany MLU. No European F-16 unit is currently
flying with NVGs. MLU aircraft have a slightly different
implementation of cockpit lighting than that described and
have no exterior lighting modifications.
NVGs have not been neglected in new aircraft design.
The F-22 is the first aircraft to include NVG-compatible
cockpit and exterior lighting in its baseline design. The
Joint Strike Fighter will be similarly equipped. Q
CODE ONE 25
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Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Firm). Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998, periodical, January 1998; Fort Worth, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1023905/m1/27/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth.