The Army requires the range of detection of a human target at minimum 1000 meters. The 1,000-meters rang is crucial in the mountainous Himalayan region where life of soldiers posted within visual range remains at stake especially on the border with Pakistan.
The type of technology is not available in India.
Image Intensifier Tube based
- Night Vision Monocular
- Advanced Night Vision Binoculars
- Advanced Night Vision Goggles
Thermal Imager based
Thermal imagery passively acquires IR radiation from a target e.g. "Starlight" scopes had the ability to gather very low levels of ambient light to see the target.
The next version (MWTS) weighs 1.2 kg/2.5 pounds, has a range of 1,400 and 4,800 meters and is used in 5.56mm and 7.62mm machine-guns.. The heaviest version (HWTS) weighs 1.5 kg/3.3 pounds, has a range of 2,300 and 7,300 meters, and is used by heavy machine-guns and snipers. This one also requires six AA batteries (for 6.5 hours). Both the heavier models have 3x zoom and 640x480 resolution for the user. All models can be used on rifles but because of weight considerations the heavier sights tend to be used on larger weapons with longer range.
Large quantities of the AN/PAS-13 began showing up in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and since everyone wants one. Over 90,000 have been delivered so far. The U.S. Army plans to buy as many as 100,000 AN/PAS-13 sights (at a cost of over $10,000 each).
It took the Indian Army a trip to the US to be convinced about the quality and efficiency of Tonbo’s thermal imaging products. Tonbo Imaging, a spinout of Sarnoff Corporation and Stanford Research International, was formed in 2008 by Arvind, an alumnus of BITS-Pilani and Carnegie Mellon University, who had moved to back India in 2004 to run Sarnoff’s India operations. Back in 2013, Tonbo had raised $6.4 million in Series-A funding from Silicon Valley-based VC firm Artiman Ventures.