Binoculars are devices that allow users to see a magnified image of distant objects with both eyes, providing a 3D image and enabling depth perception. Military binoculars are used by field personnel for a variety of applications, including surveillance, reconnaissance, target spotting, and rangefinding. They are often designed with independent focus mechanisms rather than central focus, as this makes the design less fragile.
Weatherproof & Rugged Binoculars
Military binoculars are typically more rugged than civilian models, and may be engineered to be weatherproof or to survive being dropped in water, sand or mud. They may be equipped with an outer rubberized coating that is non-reflective and provides a non-slip grip, as well as providing some resistance against shock and impact. The coating may also be decorated with camouflage patterns.
Military forces may use several different models of binoculars according to mission needs. Smaller models are highly portable and can be carried in the pockets of infantry personnel, while larger models with greater magnification capabilities may need to be mounted on a tripod.
Reticle, Rangefinder & Infrared Binoculars
Military binoculars may be equipped with a range of additional features for enhanced operation. These may include reticles for distance calculation, laser rangefinders that provide a real-time distance readout, compasses, gyro-stabilization, and a communications interface that provides data output to other devices. Night vision binoculars may also feature infrared technology, either to provide night vision capabilities or to detect thermal signatures.
Naval & Marine Binoculars
Binoculars for naval and marine applications may be specially designed to withstand harsh sea conditions, with extra sealing to stop water ingress as well as being nitrogen-filled to prevent interior fogging. They may be engineered to provide image stability even under highly dynamic conditions caused by the motion of vessels at sea. Marine binoculars may also include a strap with a flotation device to prevent them from sinking if they are dropped into water.