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Fielding pressure led to expedited IVAS production contract, technology problems discovered later

Soldiers from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division used the latest prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during solider touchpoint 3 in October 2020 at Fort Pickett in Virginia. After the event, the service awarded Microsoft with a production contract but subsequently discovered hardware and software problems that have delayed IVAS fielding. (US Army )

US Army officials were not yet aware that Microsoft's militarised HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system would need several hardware and software fixes when they awarded the company with a multi-billion-dollar production contract in March. These revelations wouldn't materialise until the following month when the service tested out a new iteration of the head-up display, and maturation concerns ultimately forced army leaders to put soldiers' safety first and delay fielding.

In mid-October, Janes first reported that the service had revamped its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) timeline, essentially postponing fielding by a year, while the US Department of Defense‘s (DoD's) Inspector General is also auditing the programme to determine if the technology will in fact meet soldiers' needs. IVAS Project Manager Colonel Troy Denomy spoke with Janes on 28 October about what led to a programme reset and what lies ahead for a capability he now hopes to begin fielding around September 2022.

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