ITT Celebrates Delivery of its One Millionth Gen 3 Image Intensifier Tube
Roanoke, Va.- ITT Corporation’s Night Vision division announced today the delivery of its one millionth Generation (Gen) 3 image intensifier tube, the heart of the company’s night vision technology. ITT Night Vision is the world’s leading developer, producer and supplier of Gen 3 image intensifier technology for U.S. and allied military forces, as well as the homeland security market.
ITT Night Vision began producing Gen 3 night vision tubes in 1982 at its Roanoke, Va. facility, when it received its first production contract for the AN/AVS-6 aviation goggle. Since then, the Gen 3 tube has undergone much technological advancement to meet increased customer needs. As a result, today’s military-grade Gen 3 tube for ground goggles (ITT’s Pinnacle(TM) tube) offers a photoresponse -- the ability to detect available light -- with more than 10 times the power of the Gen 1 tube technology of the 1960s.
“We are honored to support our nation’s warfighters, and we take immense pride in every night vision tube we produce to help our customers achieve their mission,” said Mike Hayman, president and general manager of ITT Night Vision. “I would like to thank all of our employees, suppliers and partners for their contributions that allowed us to produce our first million Gen 3 night vision tubes. We are very proud of this milestone, and look forward to advancing the technology more in the years to come.”
In 2005, the U.S. Army awarded ITT Night Vision an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity Omnibus VII contract (with a total potential value of $1.39 billion) for image intensifier tubes, AN/PVS-14 ground monoculars and AN/PVS-7 ground goggles. With the help of partial funding through this contract and through other expansion efforts, ITT has doubled production capacity within the last few years to meet the night vision needs of the U.S. military. By the end of August, the company had received orders for more than 200,000 night vision goggles through Omnibus VII.
ITT also is supporting the Army’s reset program by supplying image tubes for refurbishment of battle-worn goggles. Just recently, the Army awarded ITT the first 100 percent order on the Omnibus VII contract for image tubes.
The evolution of ITT’s night vision technology
* 1962 - ITT began producing night vision technology when the technology was titled Gen 0. This early version converted infrared light to visible light and yielded systems such as the IC-16 night scope.
* 1964 - Gen 1 image intensifier tubes were the first to intensify existing ambient light. U.S. troops in Vietnam used the technology in starlight scopes.
* 1969 - ITT won its first U.S. Army development contract for Gen 2 night vision goggles, which marked the development of a microchannel plate that produced a clearer image with less distortion.
* 1982 - Gen 3 technology introduced a more efficient conversion of light to electrical energy at extremely low light levels due primarily to advances in photocathode technology. Gen 3 provides the clearest, sharpest night vision image available, nearly doubling the image clarity of Gen 2 technology.
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