The British Army has signed a contract with an internationally known computer modeling company, Bohemia Interactive Simulation (BiSim), to develop virtual reality training software.
The project is funded by the State Collective Learning Transformation Program Collective Training Transformation Program (CTTP) as part of the Virtual Reality in Land Training (VRTL) initiative and will cost the UK treasury only £ 1 million.
According to the army request, the VRLT “will allow soldiers to be trained in a wide range of complex and hostile modeled scenarios that are not easy to recreate at the test site.” The software is based on the simulator BiSim Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3). Its first version was developed in 2001 as a fork of Operation Flashpoint. Then Bohemia Interactive continued to work, replacing the platform with ArmA and turning BiSim into its separate company. Now VBS teaches the military in more than 30 countries.
The British army is always looking for opportunities to support its capabilities with technology, ”said Brigadier General Bobby Walton-Knight, head of the training department for the British Army and director of the Team Transformation Program. “Working with Bohemia Interactive Simulations and their partner organizations is a great opportunity to see how we can use a combination of real and virtual training to better train and train our soldiers for current and future operations.
The British Army has been using VBS3 for more than two years and hopes that the transition from the “flat” interface to virtual reality “will improve immersion into the environment”.
VBS3 has the basic support of virtual reality since October 2016, and the last contract will expand it. An important feature will be more realistic avatars, which will allow soldiers to recognize each other in person.
The developer also plans to introduce a mixed reality mode in which soldiers will “see physical objects and interact with them.” BiSim does not disclose any details of this solution.
The virtual reality simulator, ordered by the British, is designed to enable the army to test a conceptual solution, formulate an opinion about it and decide whether to make BP part of the training on an ongoing basis.