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Aggressive Design of Modern Night Vvision Sight

CustomerAggressive design of night vision sight case

Yukon Optics

Development end – 2006


By the moment of development start, the customer had already produced for several years metal night vision sights on the basis of budget electro-optical converters of zero generation. The objective was to use considerably more expensive and quality electro-optical converters of 2nd and 3rd generation for a new product.

The purpose of the sight was the civilian use (hunting), while the appearance should have military style. The customer needed a technologically light and inexpensive in production sight.

The design of a new product must justify a high price of the product. The objective was to fall into the category of expensive military products as the product was oriented to the North-American market, where one can buy even military weapons.

Our solution

A sight is always a technologically and constructively complex product because of its construction, severe environment conditions and high requirements to characteristics stability during continuous service:

    • The sight is often used in severe climatic conditions;
    • The case must be protected against dust and dampness;
    • The optical scheme requires inert gas to prevent appearance of condensate;
    • The case, optical elements and mechanical blocks must endure great shock stress during fire;
    • High demands to operation stability during use: adjusted sight must keep the mark;
    • Control elements must be located exactly in specified comfortable places: a hunter has to use the sight in the dark by touch and in the cold in thick gloves;
    • The sight must not produce unwanted sounds: at a hunt it is important not to frighten a wild animal.

Traditionally, the task of creating complex precision instruments of such class is solved by milling and then machining a great number of metal parts, which are later assembled into units and blocks. From the very beginning it was clear that if we followed that way, then we wouldn’t solve the task of decreasing production costs.

Main plastic case partWe suggested making the case and other sight’s elements of plastic, though nobody in CIS-countries produced plastic sights at that time. As a result, even the main case part, very complex by form and geometry, was made entirely of plastic, which is hundred times cheaper in mass-production than a similar block made of metal.

In contrast to traditional flap spring-mounted covers we suggested making protective cover of rubber, which is unfolded on two hangers ensuring quiet opening, so important for hunters.

Control elements are ergonomically located on device case and can be easily accessed during fire. Infrared light is leakproof and can be easily removed from the sight.

To move internal objective lenses we developed a mechanism of internal focusing. Such construction is designed to ensure the stability of lenses position and focusing during fire.

The sight’s battery compartment can accommodate both one CR123 3V battery and one AA 1.5V battery, which provides power universality for Europe and America.

The designers put great effort into the created device, which cannot be seen from outside but because of which they managed to bring comfort and ergonomics into the process of working with the sight. This includes convenience of assembly, technological effectiveness in production and the reliability of mechanical units. Black color, flange mounting of front parts, a number of mechanical controls ensured the likeness with expensive military sights.

Industrial design of night vision sight. Rear view

The product is to enter the markets of the USA and Europe in 2008. The device showed its strengths during field and stand tests, which were successfully carried out. The choice of plastic as the main material for the sight proved its justifiability.

We think we managed to achieve the main goal – make the sight both visually complex and easy to produce.


    • Practically full plastic sight utilizing all benefits of the material;
    • Shockproof, dampproof, leakproof, gas-filled case;
    • Mechanism of internal objective lens focusing;
    • Aggressive military appearance;
    • Product’s image meets customer’s expectations;
    • Case price is much less than the price of traditional metal cases;
    • Moderate weight of the device;
    • Absence of analogs at the moment of development start.

Awards and references

The sight is just brought into the markets, but it has already managed to get positive references at the specialized exhibitions. Recently, “Rifle” (“Ruzzhyo”) magazine published a positive review in its 1-2008 issue.


Oleg Dolnikoff – project management, design, construction

Yuri Fadevich – construction, solid modeling

Stojan Tikhanovich – technological expertise

Development tools and technologies

Kompas, Pro Engineer

SLA prototyping

The goal of industrial design is to create ergonomic and intrinsically attractive products | info@dolnikoff.com