UK Armed Forces to test new virtual reality training platform

9 March 2020 (Last Updated March 9th, 2020 16:21)

The British Armed Forces is set to start testing a virtual reality (VR) training platform, which will feature gaming technology.

UK Armed Forces to test new virtual reality training platform
Service personnel trial the new virtual reality equipment. Credit: Crown copyright.

The British Armed Forces is set to start testing a virtual reality (VR) training platform, which will feature gaming technology.

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) VR simulator platform has been built on the Fortnite gaming engine and will become part of a wider training programme for the armed forces.

Intended to help reduce costs, the new simulator features HD surround sound, realistic visuals and intuitive gesture control.

It will be used to provide realistic, intuitive and immersive training for more than 30 personnel simultaneously.

In addition, the platform will allow personnel to train any number of times as required prior to their deployment.

UK Ministry of Defence chief scientific advisor professor Dame Angela McLean said: “The MoD is committed to developing radical and innovative ways to combat the challenges our armed forces face today, and equip them for the threats of tomorrow.

“This new simulator is just one way we are bringing training into the next generation, using technology drawn from the world of gaming to support our troops in training.”

The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) awarded £300,000 to software company SimCentric for the development of the system.

Parachute Regiment and officers at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, have already completed initial trials with the simulator.

The British Army, British Royal Air Force and British Royal Marines will conduct additional trials with the new system later this year.

SimCentric Innovation director and former British Army Air Corps officer Tom Constable said: “As a veteran and current reservist, I’m proud to help train the armed forces of the future.

“I joined the British Army in 2006 and later served in Afghanistan. This gave me a passion for building technology that will reduce the risk to our armed forces and improve the quality of training, with the ultimate aim of saving lives.”