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The US Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking technical assistance and hardware solutions for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) nuclear scenario training.

The DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which focuses on countering weapons of mass destruction, has issued a notice inviting vendors to put forward VR and AR solutions for a “virtual testbed” for radiological and nuclear battlefield scenarios.

DTRA’s notice makes clear that VR and AR “will not replace field training requirements but will enable their execution and training iterations”.

VR and AR battlefield scenarios can range from large force movements to individual experiences, as long as they test users’ decision making within a wartime nuclear event to support training and course-of-action selection.

Radiological and nuclear events can include “everything from point radiation sources, area contamination, and nuclear weapon detonation”.

Responses must be provided by 12 August.

The US military is among the major movers in immersive technology.

Microsoft notably secured a $480 million contract to build a HoloLens-based AR system for the US Army, despite a strong backlash from employees.

The US Air Force is embracing the technology, too. Air Education and Training Command’s airfield management students recently tried a new VR training simulation.

Image credit: Johannes Daleng on Unsplash