US Buying PVS-17 Mini Night Sights
The AN/PVS-17 is a lightweight night vision device that uses the OMNI IV MX 10160 3rd generation image intensifier tube. The system weighs less than 2 pounds, can be submerged to 20 meters/ 66 feet, and is compatible with rail mountings. The AN/PVS-17B incorporates a 2.25x magnification and the 17C incorporates a 4.5x magnification – or, as the USMC training handouts put it: “The Mini-Night Sight provides high performance, quick man-sized target acquisition and aiming capabilities during night operations from close range to 300 meters (AN/PVS-17B) or 500 meters (AN/PVS-17C).” In general, the 17B is intended to be mounted on rifles like the M16/M4, and the AN-PVS-17C [Data sheet, PDF] is mounted on support weapons like 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) and 7.62mm M240B/G General Purpose Machine Guns.
PVS-17s were cited as one of the successful systems that reached US troops just before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. It was suspended from use as an aiming device [pdf] for a while due to technical issue (system shutting off during firing), but a fix has been found and was being implemented as of July 2006.
Litton Systems was acquired by Northrop Grumman in December 2000. The merger terms were amended in January 2001, and the merger was completed in April 2001.
July 18/07: Litton Systems Inc. in Garland, TX received a $74 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity letter contract for production and delivery of the AN/PVS-17C miniature night sight, and associated spare and repair parts. The contract provides for a minimum quantity of 100 and a maximum of 10,000 units. Work will be performed in Garland, TX and is expected to be complete in December 2010. This follow-on contract meets an urgent requirement, and was not awarded competitively by the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA (M67854-07-C-1011).