Night vision goggles create a combat advantage for Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian soldiers during a night combat training session in Kyiv province on September 11, 2022. Photo: Global Images Ukraine

The Ukrainian army received many night vision goggles from the West, giving them an advantage when fighting in the dark with Russian soldiers.

“At the end of November, a social network account claiming to be Russian soldiers operating in Kherson said they lacked night vision goggles and infrared cameras to equip unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),” the British Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence report dated December 12.

The report said night vision goggles “are often high” on the list of equipment requested by Russian soldiers, while Ukrainian forces are equipped with many of these accessories thanks to supplies from Western countries. West.

George Barros, an expert at the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), said Ukrainian forces have been transferred many night vision systems by the West, including equipment using infrared and thermal imaging technology. , as well as many specialized night combat vehicles, including the German-made Leopard main tank.

“There have been many images and information about successful night raids in Ukraine thanks to being equipped with night vision weapons and accessories,” Barros said.

The British Ministry of Defense said that Russian forces are likely to have difficulty fighting at night, because soldiers have little training in this form of combat. Meanwhile, Ukrainian soldiers have become accustomed to night combat operations thanks to frequently moving in these conditions.

Barros said Russia currently cannot afford to equip all forces participating in Ukraine with expensive night vision equipment. “These accessories are very expensive. Some helmet-mounted night vision goggles have a retail price of up to $10,000 each,” he said.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has not commented on the information, but Moscow is recently said to be strengthening the night combat capabilities of some assets.

On social networks at the end of November, a video appeared showing the Russian Lancet suicide UAV attacking a series of Ukrainian targets in Kherson province at night, showing that this UAV line has been equipped with infrared sensors to be able to operate. At this time, instead of being limited to daytime like the old version.

In October, Russian media said that the Gortenzia first-person view (FPV) UAV produced in this country will be equipped with a thermal imaging camera for night combat. Ukraine also owns a line of UAVs specializing in night raids called “Vampire,” which operates by dropping many types of explosive warheads and often targets tanks.