The US Army announced on March 31 it had awarded Microsoft Corporation a fixed price production contract worth up to $21.9 billion for the production and delivery of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS).
The IVAS headsets are based on HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services. They provide soldiers with night vision and thermal scope settings at the press of a button. Soldiers can share topographical imagery or 3D maps of an objective at any time.
A soldier can pair the IVAS to a weapon, enabling the weapon to be aimed using a reticle projected into their field of vision rather than holding it at the shoulder and peering through the scope. All members of a platoon can know where all of their teammates are at a given time, no matter how dark or dense the surrounding terrain.
The system also leverages augmented reality and machine learning to enable a life-like mixed reality training environment so the close combat force (CCF) can rehearse before engaging any adversaries.
This award transitions IVAS to production and rapid fielding to deliver next-generation night vision and situational awareness capabilities to the CCF.
“We appreciate the partnership with the US Army, and are thankful for their continued trust in transitioning IVAS from rapid prototyping to rapid fielding. We look forward to building on this successful partnership with the men and women of the US Army CCF,” Microsoft said following the US Army announcement.
The army expects first units to receive the devices at the end of this year, once testing is concluded.