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USNV-18 Night Vision Monocular
The USNV-18 night vision monocular has been developed as an alternative to PVS-14 night vision system on the commercial market with some hope of obtaining military contracts, especially contracts for use by friendly foreign nations.
The device is similar in use and operation to the PVS-14/6015 devices from ITT but has several distinct differences: First, it has superior waterproofing and uses a single cell battery compartment like the PVS-14A. It has a slightly easier to use interchangeable lens system and uses an overall heavier duty plastic housing than the PVS-14. The head mount adapters are also engineered to overcome some of the minor faults in the PVS-7/14 head and helmet mounting systems. The USNV-18 is set up so that it can use either commercial head mounts or the military PVS mounting systems with the use of different swing arm adapters. All of the regular swing arm adapters for the PVS-14/6015 from ITT are made of heavy duty plastic that is pretty good, but can get brittle with age and then break under extreme use. The corresponding adapters for the USNV-18 are all metal and can withstand considerably more abuse and have a much longer service life. In this feature, you give up the auto shutoff feature found on the PVS-14 but not the ITT 6015.
The commercial headgear available incorporates a flip up feature not found on the original PVS-7B headgear that is normally included with the PVS-14 and Mininod devices that are sold under a number of different trade names (Mini-14 and USNV-14 being among them). This headgear is actually standardized with much of the ATN and USNV product lines so it is compatible with commercial devices like the D121, D300 and ATN Patriot series scopes. There is also a weapon rail mount made for the USNV-18, although this requires you to still use some other device for aiming, such as an IR laser.
While the USNV-18s sold direct from US Night Vision in California do not normally include any head mount or even head mount adapters, we have been able to obtain a number of military surplus and new accessories that are compatible with them and are included in each kit, thus the USNV-18 shown here has the US military compatible swing arm adapter, headset and helmet mount assembly. This is an additional $500 at regular retail prices, but thrown in with the deal on the units we are selling. Your USNV-18, however is not surplus and will brand new unit with full warranty. Note however, that compasses and laser filters made for the PVS-14 will not fit the USNV-18 front lens assembly because the front lens on the USNV-18 is smaller.
Options for performance include Gen 2+ made with the newest and best Photonis/DEP tubes for the commercial market and in Gen 3 made with commercial grade tubes from ITT or Litton (manufacturer's choice).
The USNV-18 is an excellent choice for the survivor who anticipates operating in a hard use environment, wants professional grade equipment on a budget, commercial level warranty service, and some compatibility with military accessories with a device that is unmistakably a private purchase device and not stolen government property.
more to come later.