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China gradually expanding use of VR-based training systems

Chinese state-owned media revealed on 22 March that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is gradually expanding its use of virtual reality (VR)-based training systems.

The PLA-sponsored China Military Online website reported that a PLA Navy logistics support unit under the Northern Theatre Command recently held a “wartime fuel support drill” using VR technology.

“The service members used a VR simulation training and assessment platform to complete the training of subjects as equipment structure disassembly, fault identification, and pipeline repair,” reported the website, which quoted the head of the training group as saying, “Training on the platform is free from the weather and equipment loss, which can effectively improve training efficiency and shorten the generation cycle of warfighting capability.”

The report noted that the training of such units is usually focused on areas such as pipeline plugging and cutting, while emergency equipment repairs and other complex subjects “were trained less due to the difficulty of organisation”.

To make up for the shortcomings, the group – along with civilian companies – developed a VR simulation training and assessment platform. The service members can now conduct “more challenging subjects in virtual environment and effectively improve” their fuel supply and emergency response capabilities, it added.

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