For the last two decades, ground attack and strike aircraft have possessed an impressive capability to reach and destroy targets by day and in favourable weather conditions. Operations in poor weather and darkness have been denied until recently when developments of thermal imaging combined with Night Vision Goggles (NVG) have opened up new operational concepts. Most aircraft have been severely limited at low level by the pilot's ability to acquire visually targets at a reasonable distance such that a first pass attack is possible. Besides the basic problems of terrain screening the pilot is faced with the effects of daylight haze and mist combined with the smoke/dust of a battlefield scenario.
S M Ager,
"Airborne Thermal Imaging", Proc. SPIE 0917, Recent Developments and Applications of Infrared Analytical Instruments, (3 October 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.945593; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.945593