British Army Tests Virtual Simulator for Tactical Training

A British Army team has tested the military training capabilities of the Interim Combined Arms Virtual Simulation (Deployable) or ICAVS(D).

The computer-based trainer utilizes gaming platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation, with VR headsets, steering wheels, and pedals to control digital avatars on screen.

This approach permits warfighters to practice their mobility and combat skills indoors.

Alternative to Live Practice

The trial involved 40 Tidworth-based personnel from the Royal Corps of Signals’ 207 Armored Signal Squadron, 15 Signal Regiment.

“The ICAVS is an excellent alternative to using our Bulldog armoured fleet, with many of the vehicles located out in Germany,” 207 Armored Signal Squadron Operations Officer Lt. Sam Cuthbertson explained.

The Royal Signals use a new VR training system.
The Royal Signals use a new VR training system. Photo: British Army

“It helps us keep our drivers and commanders up to date with their training.”

According to the British Army, leveraging ICAVS for tactical training “dramatically” reduces costs and carbon footprint compared with a “live” equivalent.

“The staff generate different scenarios to test our skills, from crossing rivers to dealing with enemy forces,” a Bulldog driver from the 207 Armored Signal Squadron said.

“The controls are very similar to what most of us are used to with our own gaming consoles, so it was very quick to pick up.”

Supporting Operational Readiness

ICAVS reached full operating capability in 2022 after passing requirements set by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

In April, Elbit Systems and Bohemia Interactive Simulations upgraded the simulator’s software.

Four ICAVS units are currently deployable anytime across the UK and overseas. The Royal Marines and Joint Helicopter Command use the trainers alongside the British Army.

“ICAVS(D) reaching Full Operational Capability is a significant milestone in our contribution to providing advanced training to the British Army,” Elbit Systems UK CEO Martin Fausset stated.

“Our platform will streamline the Army’s ability to maintain operational readiness for front-line duties.”

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