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Training

IVAS moves forward with $22 billion contract for Microsoft

8th April 2021 - 16:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Hololens is being used in the IVAS programme. (Photo: US Army)

The US Army has moved its IVAS programme from prototyping to production and fielding.

The US Army has awarded Microsoft Corporation a major contract to provide Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems (IVAS) headsets.

 The deal could be worth $22 billion over ten years to provide the army with more than 120,000 AR headsets.

 The US Army announced: ‘This award transitions IVAS to production and rapid fielding to deliver next-generation night vision and situational awareness capabilities to the Close Combat Force (CCF) at the speed of relevance.’

The technology is one of the 31 modernisation efforts from Army Futures Command to restore and overmatch combat superiority for US warfighters.

 The IVAS award for an ‘unprecedented system’ (as the army describes it) marks a significant milestone in a research project which began three years ago and aims to investigate the use of AR within the military forces.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Shephard: ‘The IVAS headset, based on HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services, delivers a platform that will keep soldiers safer and make them more effective. The programme delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios.’

By blending the head-up display with other wearable technologies, IVAS should improve situational awareness.

Previous collaboration with Microsoft enabled the US Army to accelerate progress on IVAS, the spokesperson added. ‘Leveraging Microsoft's commercial technology, combined with a rapid prototyping and collaboration approach meant the initial project timeline was significantly streamlined from 10 years to 28 months, setting up a strong foundation for this next phase: production and fielding.’

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