The United States Army has awarded Microsoft a major deal worth up to $21.9 billion to develop an augmented reality headset into full production — calling for more than 120,000 devices, which will be manufactured in the US.
The contract could be worth up to $21.88 billion over 10 years, CNBC quoted a Microsoft spokesperson as saying.
“The IVAS headset, based on HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services, delivers a platform that will keep Soldiers safer and make them more effective. The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
The deal transitions IVAS to production and rapid fielding to deliver next-generation night vision and situational awareness capabilities to the Close Combat Force (CCF) at the speed of relevance.
The IVAS aggregates multiple technologies into an architecture that allows the Soldier to Fight, Rehearse, and Train using a single platform. The suite of capabilities leverages existing high-resolution night, thermal, and Soldier-borne sensors integrated into a unified Heads Up Display to provide the improved situational awareness, target engagement, and informed decision-making necessary to achieve overmatch against current and future adversaries.
The system also leverages augmented reality and machine learning to enable a life-like mixed reality training environment so the CCF can rehearse before engaging any adversaries.
In November 2018, Microsoft secured a $480 million contract to give the Army prototypes of augmented reality systems for use on combat missions and in training.