US lawmakers cut army's IVAS pot, question operational viability

by Ashley Roque

The US Army’s new heads-up display, dubbed the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), is under congressional scrutiny and lawmakers are poised to strip USD230 million from the effort.

House and Senate conferees recently released their proposed fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, and both chambers are anticipated to pass the bill before sending it to the White House. Included, is a measure that pares back the authorised night vision device funding level from USD1.12 billion down to USD897 million, stripping USD230 million from IVAS, and requires the army to submit a report to Congress by 15 August 2021.

In the report, the service must detail its IVAS acquisition strategy, including the average per unit production cost, and its full-rate production schedule, and identify necessary hardware or software changes. Lawmakers also want to know what soldiers think about the system and a description of its “operational suitability”.

Within 30 days of this report being delivered to Capitol Hill, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation is tasked with submitting its own IVAS assessment.

IVAS is an effort between the army and Microsoft to militarise the company’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to include One World Terrain and Nett Warrior.

Once completed, troops could use the AR device for a range of activities from simulated training events to mission planning and execution. Potential headset capabilities include the ability to identify and catalogue individuals, translate foreign words, and navigate terrain. It is slated to be paired up with the fire-control system for the service’s Next Generation Squad Weapons.

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division used the latest IVAS prototype during a training exercise in October at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Lawmakers want to cut programme funding next year and gather additional information about the technology. (US Army)

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division used the latest IVAS prototype during a training exercise in October at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Lawmakers want to cut programme funding next year and gather additional information about the technology. (US Army)

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-lawmakers-cut-armys-ivas-pot-question-operational-viability

The US Army’s new heads-up display, dubbed the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), is unde...

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