United States

VR Nuclear War Training

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency looks to virtual reality to simulate radiological threats.

The United States Department of Defense is considering spending funds on virtual reality as a means to train forces to face the nightmare of nuclear werfare and other radiological threats.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which focuses on countering weapons of mass destruction, started gathering data on virtual reality training systems that would allow troops to test various scenarios involving radiological threats. The hope is that this technology could train troops to intercept radiological weapons on the battlefield, respond to radioactive contamination and even prepare for full-fledged nuclear war.

While the agency does not claim that virtual reality would replace the current training regimen, it does believe that it would allow troops more training exercises than they could experience in the real world. Generally speaking, physical training is expensive and time-consuming, but with virtual reality, troops could participate in more exercises more frequently and at a lower cost.

Under the proposal, the agency is looking for solicitations to outline their own virtual reality platforms, the hardware required to use them, and how environments can be modified to accommodate new exercises.

This is not the first time the U.S. Defense Department utilized V.R. to train troops for real-world events.

Last year, Microsoft was awarded $480 million adapt its HoloLens reality headsets for use in military training and combat operations. These headsets are equipped with artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities which provide troops with “increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness.”

In February, 2019, Microsoft employees wrote a letter to executives demanding the company pull out of the contract, saying they “refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression.” To date, Microsoft continues to work the contract. It should be noted that Microsoft also works with China, having had a presence in that country for more than twenty years and has worked with the Chinese military on A.I. Development.

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