The military has put a lot of emphasis lately on developing laser weapons, both to counter tech-based asymmetrical threats and as a way to save money over using conventional weapons. The services also are now looking for ways to protect troops’ eyes from the effects of lasers.
The Air Force has awarded a $30 million contract to Teledyne Scientific & Imaging for the company’s Aircrew Laser Eye Protection (ALEP) spectacles, essentially glasses that protect against hazards and the potential threats from laser devices, whether in combat or in training. The Army, meanwhile, has issued a presolicitation for goggles that can protect against traditional threats such as ballistic fragments while adding protection against laser eye protection in a variety of light conditions.
The Air Force contract with Teledyne is for ALEP spectacles that can prevent permanent eye damage from laser emissions while limiting visual degradation from the lenses, according to a Defense Department announcement.The sole-source acquisition is expected to run through December 2020.