As it was inevitable, state armies are enrolling the Virtual Reality combat simulation programs. British Army in particular has confirmed test project that would see extensive usage of this technology for battlefield training scenarios. Funded through British Defence Innovation Fund, the pilot VR software is developed by Bohemia Interactive Simulations and goes by the name of Virtual Reality in land Training.

VR is starting to deliver on the promise of its simulation prowess. Sports in particular has played on VR’s training potential card, while the likes of Walmart also found a proper use of it. Similarly, US Police has found the technology compelling, and is looking into ways to incorporate it into crime fight strategies. British Armed Forces have now made a large leap in defense direction, with Virtual reality in land Training officially cleared for battlefield situational training. It is a pilot program, designed to gather useful data for further Virtual Reality military application.   

The VR pilot project will ease the Defence Innovation Fund for £800 million. Acknowledging the sum, the British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, in a fit of patriotic confirmation, reminded that VR training integration is in line with British Army innovative impulse: ‘We are committed to harnessing new and emerging capabilities’ he said. ’Our Armed Forces have always embraced innovation and continue to push the boundaries of technological advancement’.  

There is lots of innovation to go around. The Virtual Reality in Land Training will allow soldiers to step right in the middle of action in various different battlefield scenarios. Anywhere from standard urban combat to crowd control or building siege, the life-like scenarios are designed to improve situational awareness of soldiers on the field. The pilot software also comes laden with additional props designed to turn the information tide of battle. There is a standard MR object interaction feature, the useful facial recognition for recognizing a battle-mate, and advanced analytics to sharped the learning curve. Post-training session, soldiers can go back, evaluate their performances, and mark areas of improvement.

Virtual Reality in land Training is a pilot program, aimed at cementing or disproving the reputable utility of military VR. British Ministry of Defence issued a series of statements explaining what exactly are the gains of VR powered training. They all agree that VR is the easiest, the cheapest, and highly effective tool for ‘training simulations to be quickly set-up, re-run and analyzed to demonstrate the most effective approaches to real-life challenges on the battlefield’. That done, Ministry of Defence will further discuss how to harness this innovative training simulation technology.

‘Our training continually develops and so we constantly look for the best technology to make it as effective as possible’, says Bobby Walton-Knight, a British Army head of training capability. As said of enemies, military training strategy never sleeps either. Army is as good as it is properly trained. VR as it is iterated today and as imagined tomorrow, is an indispensable learning tool that, frankly, as Virtual Reality in Land Training program will likely demonstrate, has no match on the market. Analytics will have a final say in whether we see more of VR military application, but there is little doubt in anyone’s mind we’d be naïve to pass on it.