US Army to Receive Mixed-Reality Tactical Headsets

The US Army is one step closer to fielding the “single most advanced fighting goggle” in the world after Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) announced it will help distribute the mixed-reality headsets across the force and in the field.

The handover supports the army’s efforts to procure up to 121,500 units of the wearable technology for its close-combat personnel over the coming years.

According to the service, thousands of headsets are now in RIA-JMTC’s facility and ready for fielding.

IVAS goggle storage in Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center.
IVAS goggle storage in Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. Photo: Debralee Lutgen/US Army

Deliveries are expected to run until the fall of 2023.

“That gives us time to receive everything, dress-right-dress. It gives us time to get a good accountability. It gives us time to pack and ship each item that needs to go because every item has to go as a lot, not as an individual item,” RIA-JMTC Program Management Branch Chief Sunny Koshal stated.

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System

Called the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), the mixed-reality headset was developed to maintain the warfighting capabilities of dismounted troops and their interoperability with armored vehicles and rotorcraft.

IVAS provides twice the optical coverage of existing systems for an advantage in field navigation and passive target interrogation, enabling soldiers to identify targets without being seen by adversaries.

It uses holographic imagery, low-light sensors, and thermal sensors for clear vision through smoke and dark areas.

Furthermore, the system projects 3D terrain maps and a compass for battlefield tracking, on-foot navigation, and movement across urban and open fields.

‘Most-Advanced Fighting Goggle’

While outside operations, troops can leverage the headset’s “fight-rehearse-train” feature to hone their skills and plan missions virtually without concern for available space.

“The IVAS will be the single most advanced fighting goggle available anywhere in the world. Its capabilities result from the tireless, integrated efforts of the Army and industry,” a statement from the US Army said.

“The partnership between RIA-JMTC and PEO (Program Executive Office) Soldier will help ensure these systems get to our Soldiers as soon as they are ready.”

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