The incorporation of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) technology into the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has added a new dimension to the helicopter flight management of the air force.
The BAF now can safely conduct operations in any remote and inaccessible areas by helicopter at nighttime.Due to having limited visibility at night, ground obstructions while flying close to the ground hinder the movement of helicopter which is identified as one of the major causes of helicopter crashes worldwide. In this situation, the NVG provides the unique capability to overcome limitations of the human sensory system under low-visibility flight conditions.
Night vision goggles technology is a helmet-mounted electro-optical device based on image intensifier technology that allows images to be produced in levels of light approaching total darkness.
With the night vision goggles, helicopter pilots are able to land and take off from any helipad suitable for landing in addition to the runway in complete darkness.
Air Commodore Mahmudur Hassan of Bangladesh Air Force told daily sun that the incorporation of night vision goggle technology into the air force is essential for conducting night flights in remote and inaccessible areas.
He said the NVG ensures flight safety and allows helicopter to conduct any nighttime operational mission with minimal risk.
“With the help of NVG technology, pilots will be able to avoid any kind of obstruction while flying at low altitudes from the ground” he said.Air commodore Mahmud also said “The addition of night vision goggles technology to the Air Force has enabled the force to rescue any pilot after helicopter crash at night.”
“In 2017, two fighter jets crashed adjacent to Kutubdia in Cox’s Bazar during a nighttime flight and the rescue operation was completed quickly with the help of night vision goggles technology,” he added.
Currently nine helicopters of the Bangladesh Air Force have night vision goggles technology. The global epidemic Covid-19 has been spreading all over the world from January 2020 onwards.
Bangladesh Air Force’s MI series helicopters are playing a leading role in rescuing dying corona patients from various parts of the country with the help of night vision goggles technology.
Wing Commander Salahuddin of Bangladesh Air Force conducted all the helicopter flights for rescuing corona patients from different parts of the country.
“All the corona patients were not lifted from established helipads. Many operations were conducted in the nighttime and without designated helicopter,” he said.
“Now we are able to land on and take off from any helipad suitable for landing in addition to the runway in complete darkness” he added.
On Tuesday, this correspondent has seen the night vision goggles technology used in Bangladesh Air Force through a helicopter flight. The helicopter took off from Base Bashar and fly to Padma bridge project to oversee the night vision goggles technology in nighttime.
When this correspondent looks downward from the helicopter without night vision goggles, he managed to see only some lights blinking. On the other hand, everything, including roads, cars plying the road, fields and others objects, was seen clear, using night vision goggles.
In mid-March 2019, during the Upazila Parishad elections in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT), the presiding officer of the Election Commission among other people were seriously injured in the post-election shootings by terrorists.
At that time, the Air Force Helicopter AW-139 with night vision goggles technology rescued a total of 18 dying people and transferred them to Chittagong and Dhaka CMH.
Recently, Bangladesh sent three MI-171SH helicopters with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) technology to UN peacekeeping mission contingent in Central African Republic.