British Army advances to virtual reality training

The British Army has selected military simulation provider Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) to lead the advanced phase of its Virtual Reality In-Land Training (VRLT) pilot programme, which will examine the value of VR in defence training.

BISim had previously been involved with a smaller pilot but the scaled up testing will see the technology used for training soldiers at the Company level - up to to 90 trainees.

BISim is serving as the technology partner for the programme alongside QinetiQ Training and Simulation as the prime contractor and training delivery partner.

The soldiers are using VBS4, BISim’s whole-earth virtual simulation system that allows users to train in VR “anywhere on the planet”.

VBS4 is regularly being used to train 40-plus military personnel and can scale to 90 trainees.

On these exercises the soldiers use VBS4’s fully integrated support for VR interaction for player movement, including weapon control, handling, player stance and full-finger tracking to enhance gesturing and complex hand signals.

BISim’s software has been combined with partner technologies to simulate a broad range of systems including instrumented light guns, AFC control systems, simulated CR2 turret trainers and synthetic wrap-style ISTAR feeds. It is also integrated with Cervus Defence and Security’s Hive Engine for training data exploitation.

“VR is giving soldiers a more immersive simulation training experience,” said Rusty Orwin, BISim head of sales for the UK and Ireland. “The soldiers in VR are more engaged and clearly enjoying it, which should better prepare them for live training.”

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