Universal Night Sights

Universal Night Sights (UNS) are in-line non-magnifying (X1) clip-on NVD, which are mounted directly in front of the existing day optic. UNS provide a quick attach/detach capability for nighttime deployment while maintaining the day optic boresight.

Using a NVD in combination with a day optic is not a new concept as monocular NVD has been used in this capacity since their introduction in the early 1990’s. However, monocular NVD are placed in-line directly behind of the day optic while UNS are placed in front. This is an advantage for UNS optics as there is no need to move the primary optic further down the rail in order to make room for the night vision sight as is often the case with monocular NVD.

UNS feature several advantages over conventional magnifying night vision sights:

  • There is no need to switch from day optic to night optic in order to obtain nighttime capabilities. The day optic remain on the weapon as is and therefore boresight alignment is retained.

  • The operator can utilize the high-power magnification of the day optic, which is often significantly higher then the limited magnification of dedicated night vision sights.

  • UNS are lighter and more compact devices than night vision sights as no magnification or boresight alignment mechanisms are needed.

  • Due to their relative simplicity, UNS are cheaper optics then conventional night sight.

UNS sights are made by a variety of manufactures, most notably OSTI, which AN/PVS-27 is currently in limited usage with IDF SF units and is also the standard night vision optic issued with the IDF H-S Precision Pro Series 2000 HTR.

Another similar concept to the UNS is SIMRAD. However, SIMARD optics are placed on top of the day optic, rather then right in front of it, resulting in a bulkier setup. SIMARD optics were in limited IDF usage in the past in with both regular and special forces.


IDF SWS on display during a demonstration: left – a Barrett M82A1, right – an H-S Precision Pro Series 2000 HTR fitted with an OSTI AN/PVS-27 (photo: IDF).

An IDF H-S Precision Pro Series 2000 HTR fitted with an OSTI AN/PVS-27 on display during a demonstration. Also visible are the SWS standard issue accessories – an ITL Cobra rangefinder, a Tripod Data Systems (TDS) PDA loaded with a ballistic software and a Kestrel pocket weather meter.

Rimon sniper during training armed with a suppressed SR25 fitted with a day optic and an AN/PVS-27 (photo: IDF).

Optics Guide