The United States Army is set to receive combat simulation goggles manufactured by Microsoft for training purposes this month.
Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Douglas Bush cleared the receipt of 5,000 sets of Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System last week, according to Bloomberg.
The “mixed reality headset” is designed for infantry soldiers to train in immersive mock combat missions.
Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division tested the device in August.
The device is similar to digital devices used for fighter pilot training, according to Bloomberg.
The headset is intended for American service members who fight wars on the ground.
The system is designed for Army unit commanders to display information before a soldier’s face-mounted visor.
Features of infantry warfare such as night vision are incorporated into the system.
The device will project a heads up display to infantrymen and other combat soldiers in training missions, according to Bloomberg.
The Army is taking delivery of an initial order for 5,000 IVAS combat goggles “citing encouraging results from testing in the field” https://t.co/MmIcNjitQ0
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) September 4, 2022
The Army initially put off beginning receipt of the devices due to concerns over performance, before the service cleared accepting them on Thursday.
“We did a good test and will learn from it,” Bush said, according to Bloomberg.
“The Army remains confident that the program will succeed.”
A final test report for the system is expected to be delivered next month.
The Army anticipates spending $21.9 billion on the devices over a decade, according to Bloomberg.
Congress proposed deep cuts to funding for the devices in light of the Army’s intent to further test them. Washington will decide whether to grant the Army’s request for $424.2 for the program in the next fiscal year, Bloomberg reported.
The Army has sought to refocus the force on fighting a threat from a “near-peer adversary,” such as China, in recent years. This contrasts with the irregular Islamist terrorist forces the American military engaged in the wars against terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
This shift has seen the Army adopt plans to issue a new standard service weapon for combat soldiers. The XM5 rifle is chambered to fire 6.8-mm rounds, unlike the the 5.56-mm cartridges designed for the M16 family of weapons used since the Vietnam War.
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