September 16, 2009:
After a decade of development and wide scale testing, the U.S. Army and Marines are buying nearly two billion dollars worth of DVE (Driver's Vision Enhancers). This is an infrared (heat sensing) system that consists of a 5.5 pound (2.5 kilogram) sensor, and a flat panel display that shows what is in front of the vehicle, despite night, fog, smoke or dust. The army has already bought 40,000 DVEs in the last five years, so that the equipment could be used on a wide variety of vehicle and in all possible conditions. The new purchases will equip just about every truck and combat vehicles with DVE.
There are actually four different models of DVE. DVE Lite is for trucks the cart troops and supplies around. DVE CV is used by combat vehicles. DVE TWV allows the sensor to be moved around, to search a wider area, and is used by wheeled combat vehicles (Stryker and MRAP). There is also a variation of the DVE TWV, used specifically to detect enemy activity, like someone placing roadside bombs or mines.
DVE enables the army to move more quickly, and safely, in all kinds of atmospheric conditions. This not only speeds up supply, and movement (of units) operations, but makes combat units more effective. The enemy can no longer rely on bad visibility to slow down U.S. troops.