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The British Army is testing a virtual reality training system for its soldiers

Key Points
  • The contract was awarded via an £800 million fund that is helping to develop "cutting-edge ideas to benefit front-line services."
  • More than 50 defense organizations use products from Bohemia Interactive Simulations to train personnel.
Daniel Leal-Olivas | AFP | Getty Images

The British Army has awarded a £1 million ($1.3 million) contract to a software developer to "explore how virtual reality can be integrated into soldier training."

The business, called Bohemia Interactive Simulations, was described by the government as a "global developer of military simulation and training software."

Founded in Australia in 2001, Bohemia Interactive Simulations employs over 250 people in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Poland, German and the Czech Republic. According to the business, more than 50 defense organizations use its products to train personnel.

The British Army's pilot scheme will look to test a range of virtual reality applications. These include high resolution virtual reality headsets; avatars that can be customized to replicate facial features and body shapes; and technology that offers data capture and analysis to help soldiers "better understand their own performance."

In a statement Monday, Brigadier Bobby Walton-Knight, army head of training capability, said that innovations like virtual reality offered "immersive and flexible training, and this pilot is pushing the boundaries to explore how we might make best use of it."

The contract was awarded via the £800 million Defence Innovation Fund, which the government described as helping to develop "cutting-edge ideas to benefit front-line services."

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