NSP-2 night vision sight (НСП-2 ПНВ)

The NSP-2 is a generation 0 active infra red night vision sight. It is quite heavy and bulky, but when you think back to the 1960s this device was very advanced for its time. This one was build in Czechoslovakia, but it was developed by the Novosibirsk instrument-making plant (Новосибирского приборостроительного завода).
It uses a high powered infra red light to illuminate the area, like all active infra red night visions. The single stage image intensifier (or converter) tube provides a pretty clear and sharp image for a gen0+ tube.

It weights around 2,3kg, with an additional 1,7kg battery strapped to your belt. This is how the device looks packed into its transit case, which also includes a battery storage box, spare infra red filter, a screwdriver and some more small replacement parts.

Like on most soviet transit cases, you will find a packing list and field manual in it. Overall the case is pretty rugged and secures night vision safely. You can tell that this particular one was made in 1962-63 by the marking on the battery box.

Obviously there were no LEDs back in 1960, so they had to use a regular halogen bulb with an additional IR band-pass filter. This leads to a very low degree of efficiency for the IR illumination light, which is the reason for the rather large battery pack. On the other side the night vision itself is extremely energy efficient. With the IR illumination light turned off this thing can run for ages.

The bulb and IR band-pass filter are placed behind a flip up cover which will get really hot if the illuminator is running while it’s closed. You could boil eggs on that thing.
For daytime use a aperture is fitted to the lens (left photo)
All the switches have tips, which will glow in the dark. This comes in pretty handy when it’s pitch black.


The windage and elevation can be adjusted on the fly. The elevation settings for 7.62x39mm are printed on the cover left of the scope. The high voltage regulator for the picture tube are housed under it. Like most high voltage regulators you can hear a gentle ‘brzzzzzz’ sound, when it is running. But yet again, it is extremely quiet compared to other night visions of that time. Part of the reason is that the whole electronic is molded intro insulating resin. This makes the whole device 100% waterproof also.


These photos were taken at night with the IR illuminator turned off and on. Keep in mind that the actual image quality is much better then it is captured by the camera. The reticle is not illuminated and rather simple. You can still see it pretty well most of the time.There is no rangefinder like on later night vision sights. The sight mounts to AK and SVD style side mounts and is secured with a throw lever like most soviet optics.

So, does it have any practical use in the year 2012? It depends on. The infrared illuminator makes you basically a walking target for anyone with a proper night vision.
But despite from that it will definitely come in handy in night time scenarios and will give you an significant edge over your foe.

12.06.2012 – by netsplit for Gruppa L

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