US Navy to train as it fights through... augmented reality

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Naval Forces News - USA
 
 
 
US Navy to train as it fights through... augmented reality
 
By Stelios Kanavakis - Senior Defence Analyst
The US Navy will train as they will fight in virtual reality, thanks to the ONR’s new training system. The ONR presented its latest development at FIST2FAC or Fleet Integrated Simulation Technology Testing Facility, in Hawaii. A system that combines real-action scenarios in a virtual environment.
     
The US Navy will train as they will fight in virtual reality, thanks to the ONR’s new training system. The ONR presented its latest development at FIST2FAC or Fleet Integrated Simulation Technology Testing Facility, in Hawaii. A system that combines real-action scenarios in a virtual environment.
The 50-cal gunner and lookout sailor wearing the augmented reality glasses during the system’s presentation aboard the USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) (Photo: ONR)
     
The system integrates video-game software to depict the actual assets of the US Navy – ships and weapons – and a range of threats, such as RIBs or fast attack boats, just to name a few.

In a typical scenario presented aboard USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112), the lookouts on the bridge spotted a group of fast attack boats in their augmented reality goggles. They passed the information to the gunner on the deck, also wearing the same goggles, who fired his 0.50-calibre heavy machine gun against the targets.

The attacking boats were part of the augmented reality environment where the threat was presented in the real environment, with many real ships being present in the surrounding. The system allows the trainers to simulate enemy jamming resulting in degraded communications and sensors capacity, different weather and visibility conditions, the involvement of air assets or even people speaking other languages.

Nevertheless, the functions being served with an augmented reality training system are not only restricted to simple forms of combat scenarios. It could be used to train staff in navigating a ship, in maintenance, in landing a fighter aircraft, in logistics or whatever scenario will be required.

Once fully developed, the new system will allow the US Navy to train its crews even during deployment. Until now it is shore-based but the Service aims at bringing it to every ship in order to provide the best possible training during deployments.

According to the Office of Naval Research data, the training system can offer huge savings to the Fleet. Considering that the cost of getting an aircraft carrier out of base costs USD250,000 or USD6 million for the whole of the strike group, the cost of acquiring and using the software and the necessary systems is much lower.

Augmented reality systems become increasingly popular in training in times of restrained budgets. The United States Marine Corps recently tried one. In September 2015, Marines at the Infantry Officer Course first tested augmented reality technology.

Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT) was developed, once again, from the ONR to train forward observers and tactical air controllers in force on force tactics. Some of the most demanding scenarios to simulate in an augmented reality environment and some of the most expensive in real training situations. The USMC has received three systems and is testing them before deciding on whether to take them into the procurement process.

 

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