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US Army receiving early IVAS units, will roll out software upgrades

Soldiers from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division use IVAS prototypes during Solider Touchpoint 3 in October 2020 at Fort Pickett in Virginia. (US Army)

The US Army has begun accepting 5,000 Microsoft Integrated Augmentation System (IVAS) units and is finalising plans to field them. However, it is not yet clear how soldiers will use these early versions of the capability that will require software upgrades.

In March 2021, service leaders signed a contract valued up to USD21.88 billion for more than 10 years for the militarised HoloLens 2 head-up display. Several weeks later, during Soldier Touchpoint 4, the army grew concerned about hardware and software deficiencies and decided to delay the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) event and fielding of the device.

IVAS project manager Colonel Troy Denomy told Janes in October 2021 that Microsoft would be delivering additional prototypes for testing, but the service would not be accepting any head-up displays to field to troops. Instead, the duo set out to correct IVAS problems to include reducing the field-of-view from 80Ā°back down to 70Ā°, fixing a humidity problem with a single component inside the display, and addressing the software's ā€˜reliability and stability'.

By March 2022 the revamped IVAS was used in Soldier Touchpoint 5, and Assistant Secretary of the US Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Douglas Bush approved the device for the IOT&E event that concluded in June. Bush told reporters in late July that he was ā€œencouragedā€ by the test but ā€œfurther improvementsā€ are needed.

Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo provided some additional details during a 7 SeptemberDefense News conference.

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