ATARS is taking augmented reality to the skies
➨ Red 6 has secured a SBIR Phase III sole source award that could be worth up to $70 million over five years
➨ Its AR training system, ATARS, will initially be integrated with the T-38 Talon, a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer
➨ The contract win comes after Red 6 raised $30 million of series A funding
Red 6 has secured a contract worth up to $70 million over five years from the US Air Force for the deployment of its augmented reality training solution.
Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS) will initially be integrated with the T-38 Talon, a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. Red 6 says a fourth generation operational and training aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, will follow.
This SBIR Phase III sole source award—the California-headquartered developer’s third contract after several years of close cooperation with the US Air Force—will enable Red 6 to pursue commercialisation of ATARS.
The system enables users to observe and interact with virtual entities superimposed on the flight helmet visor during actual airborne flight training, air-to-air refuelling and other real-life scenarios.
ATARS acutely demonstrates the power of augmented reality by combining virtual elements with traditional, expensive and outdated flight training, at a time when nations around the world are developing advanced aircraft that are difficult to simulate in real combat training.
Dr Winston Bennett, from the US Air Force’s Airman Systems Directorate within the Warfighter Interactions and Readiness Division, comments: “Innovation within training is needed now more than ever to remain competitive with our adversaries. Red 6 is delivering a solution to current pain points in training, that if fixed, could solve several national security issues we face today.”
The system’s potential was also reflected in Red 6’s $30 million series A funding round in June and the company’s post-cap valuation of $130 million.
Daniel Robinson, founder and chief executive officer of Red 6, says: “This award is indicative of Red 6’s commitment to deliver training solutions for the defense community. We are excited to continue to grow our presence within the US Air Force as we harness the power of our one-of-a-kind technology in support of the warfighter.”
Images: Red 6