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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Good2Golf

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CBH99, high grade NVGs (like KevinB mentions, FOM - figure of merit like 2200 and above) are ITAR-controlled. Joe hunter in America can get FOM 2400-2600 goggles, but I think other nations are limited to 1600 or so, without an ItAR waiver/exception. I’ve flown with 2200+ and the difference is notable compared to earlier Gen-III or -II devices. Lucky US hunters! 😉
 

KevinB

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CBH99, high grade NVGs (like KevinB mentions, FOM - figure of merit like 2200 and above) are ITAR-controlled. Joe hunter in America can get FOM 2400-2600 goggles, but I think other nations are limited to 1600 or so, without an ItAR waiver/exception. I’ve flown with 2200+ and the difference is notable compared to earlier Gen-III or -II devices. Lucky US hunters! 😉
All tubes are actually ITAR controlled, 1,800 are restricted to NATO/5Eyes (used to be 1600) - and other things beyond 2200 are restricted to certain parts of 5Eyes and require a US DoD Unit sponsor with a rider for joint anti-terrorist operations (I'm sure folks can do the math that only a few entities get this)

FWIW the French make a very decent 2k+ WP tube - I've seen some of their stuff integrated into systems down here.
IF one wanted to try to start making "Made in Canada" NODs - starting with Photonis would not be terrible
I've seen some of their tubes with an over 3k spec sheet...


However I think the future is digital - and tubes are going to go the way of the DoDo - the future is in fused devices - with some thermals now being able to detect daytime footprints - and able to be used in daylight.
I'm still of the opinion that Thermal is great for target detection - but target discrimination needs to be done via II or other non thermal means.
 

CBH99

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I had no idea NOD’s were ITAR controlled, nor that the tech has/does evolve that rapidly. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know until reading these posts from KevinB and Good2Golf.

It makes perfect sense, it’s just that this tech doesn’t get the focus that the big sexy capital equipment gets.


Note to self… Stay on the good side of anybody who can actually say, in all seriousness - “The vanilla side of SOCOM.”
 

Kirkhill

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Yet another useful LAV variant that we won't get.

This Is Our First Look At The Marines' Loitering Munition-Armed Light Armored Vehicle

The 'suicide drones' will allow Marine light armored units to surveil the battlefield and strike targets with pinpoint precision from up above.

BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK OCTOBER 11, 2021
This Is Our First Look At The Marines' Loitering Munition-Armed Light Armored Vehicle

Do we have an interservice/interbranch department responsible for munitions or ordnance?

A lot of the munitions being proposed these days, especially in the missile, UAS, drone fields seem to be platform independent.

We already have examples of systems in our arsenal that are employed only by one branch but could equally be employed by the other two. I am thinking about AIM-9s, AIM-120s, ESSMs, Harpoons and whatever the CANSOFCOM types are using.

The entire spectrum of UAS and drones are generally platform independent. If it can be launched from an aircraft then it can launched from a vehicle. If it can be launched from a vehicle then it can be launched from a boat. If it can be launched from a boat then it can be launched from a ship. If it can be launched from a ship then it can be launched from land. (And submarines are boats).

If the bullet is the weapon why do we buy separate bullets for each service according to specific platforms rather than buying bullets to kill specific targets and then figure out how we use them on available, or intended, platforms?
 

daftandbarmy

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I always found it interesting the Officer Corps didn't have a two tier training system - at least as the Phase Levels -
While the Res courses where always abridged versions of the Reg Force ones.

The NG down here has nearly all the same kit as the Regular Army - generally only lagging on the latest Night Operations Gear as it cascades down.

Which of course - combined with actual legislation to protect and empower them - allows the NG to be Federalized and active as whole units.

Reservists in the Combat Arms do the same training courses as the Reg F Officers, and are integrated into the platoons on all the courses.

You're just more likely to pass if you happen to be a MilColl Officer, as opposed to DEO or RESO :)
 
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KevinB

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Reservists in the Combat Arms do the same training courses as the Reg F Officers, and are integrated into the platoons on all the courses.

You're just more likely to pass if you happen to be a MilColl Officer as opposed to DEO or RESO :)
I realized my comment missed NCM courses being abridged versions of the Reg Equivalent.
 

IRepoCans

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WP is pretty widespread now (even amongst the white side of SOCOM): Australian Army runs PVS-31As complete for all combat arm units and their direct support (to include their reserves); the French, the Germans and the UK are phasing in WP dual tube systems for combat arms (Elbit based for the latter two); there are already quite a few provincial and federal entities in Canada that use L3 or Elbit WP systems.

CAF side, last time I checked the benchmark which we are evaluating all dual tube systems against is the PVS-31A and it strongly leaned toward WP. Hell, we even are jumping on fused systems whether that comes in the form of a COTI or something akin to a PSQ-36 (because from what I've heard, the ENVG-B is hot garbage compared to the 36) is anyone's guess.

The big shake your head moment is realization that we're still rocking PAQ-4s and PEQ-2s whilst everyone else is moving onto the latest generation of LADs (some of which even act as laser range finders) and most of our infantry pers don't even know the capability you gain with a IR illuminator co-aligned with your IR designator.

To say we are generations behind in night fighting equipment and experience would be an understatement.
 

IRepoCans

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They had an initial purchase of 300 new MNVGs with White Phosphors tubes. They were scheduled to go to the reserves I have no idea what the distribution plan actually was. Supporting the Canadian Army Reserves - Canada.ca
That's easy the division training centres will take them, or they're tucked in MSA somewhere never to be seen.

I was on a reserve PLQ / ISSC where 95% of the course had never used MNVGs on let alone a PEQ-2 or PAQ-4 (the latter two we didn't even have on the course).

Rant on:

Hell, we didn't even have PRRs, MBITRs or Harris 152s, whichever manpack variant we're supposedly using for ground comms. I get the whole distributed deep operations against an EW capable enemy and emcon; but that doesn't mean you can't train pers on the radio systems they are supposed to be qualified to operate because there are comms windows that'll still have to be made even in an emcon enviroment.

And leading into the whole NEW light forces doctrine as I see it is this: the CAF forgot somehow to soldier properly as dismounts against a peer threat and it's an attempt to give some purpose to the otherwise purposeless light infantry battalions. Because there's nothing new about any of it, everything is already in the BGLs, everything is already something that is established in NATO or ABCA doctrine. It's like the rigid adherence to conducting only frontals because that's all we supposedly know how to do.

Rant off.
 

MJP

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That's easy the division training centres will take them, or they're tucked in MSA somewhere never to be seen.

I was on a reserve PLQ / ISSC where 95% of the course had never used MNVGs on let alone a PEQ-2 or PAQ-4 (the latter two we didn't even have on the course).
Div TCs are low man on the totem pole for kit so they hold almost none and kit like that is not held inside MSAs.

The vast majority of our nightfighting gear outside of CANSOF was held in the CMBGs with a small reserve in the depots. It was like much of our equipment managed, controlled and surged to units or formations for trg or operations
 

Ostrozac

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*The PVS-5 had a weird housing more akin to a diving mask - and you needed to constantly focus each eye piece to see at different ranges - it was incredibly disorientating to walk with.
Try driving a M113 while wearing them! That was quite the experience.
 

KevinB

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The Army is working to refresh its NV holdings. Scope creep appears to have been suppressed sufficiently to let it move forward.
About 6 years ago I tried to steer a Solicitation from DND to buy more SIMRAD's to getting something that wasn't 30 years out of date.
There was zero interest in buying something new -
When John Marshall was absorbed to the SF side, I think they pretty much gutted the Regular Army of anyone with much of a schmick about Night Operations.

WP is pretty widespread now (even amongst the white side of SOCOM): Australian Army runs PVS-31As complete for all combat arm units and their direct support (to include their reserves); the French, the Germans and the UK are phasing in WP dual tube systems for combat arms (Elbit based for the latter two); there are already quite a few provincial and federal entities in Canada that use L3 or Elbit WP systems.

CAF side, last time I checked the benchmark which we are evaluating all dual tube systems against is the PVS-31A and it strongly leaned toward WP. Hell, we even are jumping on fused systems whether that comes in the form of a COTI or something akin to a PSQ-36 (because from what I've heard, the ENVG-B is hot garbage compared to the 36) is anyone's guess.
ENVG was an utter train wreck - a perfect example of a program lead with no experience on the ground actually using NV.
Imaging attaching a Brick to a PVS-14 MNVG and a Skeetir-L and adding some duck tape to keep it all together.

ENVG-B started out as a Army version of the PVS-31, it is morphing into an attempt to take the PVS-31, Fuse it with Thermal - like the PSQ-36. and add networked capabilities - all of which are capabilities to be fielded in IVAS.
Realistically the currently fielded version of ENVG-B is a PSQ-36 in tan - with a data in, not just digital output port
L3 Harris makes all three (PVS-31, PSQ-36, and ENVG-B), as well as the GPNVG, and fused offerings of the GPNVG (I've looked through one - but not sure what they are calling that).


The big shake your head moment is realization that we're still rocking PAQ-4s and PEQ-2s whilst everyone else is moving onto the latest generation of LADs (some of which even act as laser range finders) and most of our infantry pers don't even know the capability you gain with a IR illuminator co-aligned with your IR designator.

To say we are generations behind in night fighting equipment and experience would be an understatement.
The non CANSOF side of the CF is in very bad shape - the lack of a real forend for mounting MFAL's is a significant hinderance - the TRIAD "pitchfork" is an example of an idiot with no understanding making a decision simply based on up front cost - without looking at performance - or the issues that the TRAID cause to the life of the attached devices.

Admittedly the PEQ-2 isn't terribly obsolete - other than the lack of a vis laser - and the vast amount of troops down here don't understand the uses of that either - I went up to Ft Drum when 10th Mountain still ran RIMAC (two week shooting school) - during the "CQB week" I got to teach a class on vis laser employment as a buddy of mine was the NCOIC - back then they mostly had M16A4's and ACOG's - and it was virtually impossible to get a sight picture easily - especially if trying to use cover - so a 40 min class on short range shooting with laser was a bit of an eye opener for them - that was with the PEQ-15's - which outside the SOCOM LA-5 version was a let down as far as Mw power compared to the -2, and for night use the -2 was IMHO actually preferable (admittedly the slaved boards for the laser adjustment is also much nicer on the -15 - as your IR Ill, LP, and VIS are slaved - so you can confirm zero much easier).

The PAC-4C was absolute before the CF bought them - I'm legitimately wondering what imbecile thought that was a good option.
Low power - and no illuminator - yuck.

If I was going to revamp the Army NV program - I'd see if I could borrow guys from the Hill - because both indoor and outdoor experiences under NOD's are significantly different - and illuminator work can be remarkably useful or hurtful depending on the skill of the user.


One of the biggest issues I have seen for the CF, is quite often the Canadian Distributor of items has about as much of a clue as most staff and contracting officers - and suggests items that brief well, but absolutely are criminally stupid for field usage.
 

daftandbarmy

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Div TCs are low man on the totem pole for kit so they hold almost none and kit like that is not held inside MSAs.

The vast majority of our nightfighting gear outside of CANSOF was held in the CMBGs with a small reserve in the depots. It was like much of our equipment managed, controlled and surged to units or formations for trg or operations

My unit has an operational tasking to provide a dismounted Recce Pl (other units provide pioneer, mortar and other taskings).

Our issue of night vision devices, a key piece of kit to achieve that tasking, has been zero over the several years since the taskings were dished out.

Based on my direct experience in this matter, we're officially worse off than the 'bog standard and not operationally tasked' militia of 1979 who were, at least, issued with Starlight Scopes.

Nice work, CAF ;)

Stephen Colbert Slow Clap GIF
 

KevinB

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They had an initial purchase of 300 new MNVGs with White Phosphors tubes. They were scheduled to go to the reserves I have no idea what the distribution plan actually was. Supporting the Canadian Army Reserves - Canada.ca
Probably because CADEX is not a manufacturer of NV.
Second point - what sort of dipshit buys a MNVG at this point in time - this isn't 1990 or even 2001.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Probably because CADEX is not a manufacturer of NV.
Second point - what sort of dipshit buys a MNVG at this point in time - this isn't 1990 or even 2001.
Canada hasn’t figured out binocular vision, yet…
 

OldSolduer

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Canada hasn’t figured out binocular vision, yet…
Dammit if they monos were good enough for me they are damn well good enough for you!!
;)


In WW1 Canadians were in the forefront using tech and innovation to lead the way.
Sadly it sounds like we don't care.
 

KevinB

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Canada hasn’t figured out binocular vision, yet…
Except Aviation, Pathfinders, SARTech's and CANSOF.
Heck the older Low Profile PVS-21 BNVG where in CF service for MFP and SAR jumps before most other armies knew anything more than a PVS-7, I would assume the knowledge behind that acquisition got pulled behind the SOF curtain too.

But 2M for 300 PVS-14 with WP tubes? That's $6,666.66 a piece - that's more with exchange rate than a USG entity can get a PVS-31A - which had TWO WP tubes - and wired rear helmet mount battery pack (which is a good counterweight) - as opposed to the screw in battery on the 14.

I mean if the CF wanted a WP Monocle - it should have been darned near 2k, heck for that price they could have gotten a modular system with a Photonis tube that can be used as Monocle, Binocular - or Weapon mounted II system for that price - with mounts for helmet and weapon.
 

KevinB

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Dammit if they monos were good enough for me they are damn well good enough for you!!
;)


In WW1 Canadians were in the forefront using tech and innovation to lead the way.
Sadly it sounds like we don't care.
I'm not a fan of the way Commonwealth Armies do Force Modernization, toooooo much power is in the hands of the LCMM.
The LCMM should be a servant of the users, not a master of it's domain.
 
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