British troops are tapping into a video game world to improve their sharp-end skills as they continue to trial a simulation based on a popular first-person shooter.
The new virtual reality kit – which has the same roots as multiplayer
sensation Fortnite – allows 30 soldiers at a time to immerse themselves in a digital environment.
Wearing headsets, personnel are confronted with a realm of impressive visuals plus high-definition surround and gesture control mimicking real-life actions and scenarios.
They can hold a weapon while crouching and crawling their way around the battlefield as they play their part in serials specially designed with the kit in mind.
Tests have already taken place with The Parachute Regiment and officers at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, while pan-Armed Forces trials are also planned.
Produced by civilian firm SimCentric, the kit is the brainchild of the company’s innovation director Tom Constable – an-ex Army Air Corps Regular and current Reservist.
He said that an operational tour of Afghanistan had given him a passion to create “technology that will reduce the risk to our Armed Forces”.
Soldier. (2020) Technology Looks to New Reality. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. April 2020, pp.15.