Recently this photo has been circulating social media. Assumptions were made that the photo is of a Venezuelan soldier wearing night vision but upon closer inspection, they are a cheap roleplay toy for children. The Venezuelan Army actually uses night vision but these are not it. Will the real Venezuelan night vision please stand up?
This Is Fake News
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I originally saw this posted on Facebook. At first glance, it is easy to see how one can be fooled by this image. However, it is my belief that this is just a good photoshop job. The main person who is front and center with the night vision on his helmet does not look like anyone else when it comes to his gear and uniform.
First of all, the night vision on the soldier’s helmet is a toy for kids that used to be sold at Walmart. Secondly, if you look at this soldier’s uniform and gear, other than the olive drab green color, none of it matches the rest of the soldiers around him. All the other soldiers are stuck in the 80s with PASGT style helmets and what looks like ALICE gear. Meanwhile, the deep fake soldier with toy NODs has a modern style helmet, ear pro, comms, and what looks like a plate carrier.
Another point of contention? The CAA Roni that the soldier is holding with what looks like an Aimpoint T1. The rest of the Venezuelan soldiers are carrying some sort of AK variant.
So What Does Venezuelan Night Vision Actually Look Like?
Huge thanks to TFB Reader Tillice for the pics of the Venezuelan night vision.
Now, these are Venezuelan night vision equipped soldiers! See uniformity? See the gear stuck in the past by about 3-4 decades?
So what are these soldiers using for night vision? It looks like the SIMRAD GN1 at first glance. However, it is not. In fact, I discovered these goggles just prior to Tillice emailing me. I found them on eBay not realizing these are what the Venezuelan Army uses.
If you look at the Venezuelan night vision goggle above, it certainly looks like the SIMRAD GN1. However, there are some clear differences. When the GN1 is worn, the eyepieces are low on the housing and the objective lens sits on the left side of the housing. These Venezuelan night vision goggles are inverted. SIMRAD does make an inverter but the main dovetail-like attachment point is on the opposite side of the Venezuelan version.
The battery compartment and power switch are totally different as well. And thanks to Tillice we have even better pictures of these bootleg GN1 goggles. In fact, these Venezuelan goggles are made in Belarus by a company called BelOMO Holding and are called NV/G-14.
The NV/G-14 is not just a simple bootleg that has been rotated 180° to be inverted. It is actually a mirrored copy of the GN1. See the photo below. I photoshopped the GN1 image and mirrored it. Now the power knob and features of the GN1 match the NV/G-14.
And it was Tillice who told me about a company in Bulgaria that licensed the GN1 from SIMRAD/Rhinemetal. Opticoel is still pumping out their version of the GN1 and called it the NIRECON.
A huge thanks to TFB reader Tillice for a cornucopia of information regarding GN1 alternatives. It is neat seeing the GN1 more and more.