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US Army maintaining IVAS first unit equipped goal, crafting ‘mitigation' plan

The US Army is still planning to meet its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) first unit equipped (FUE) date sometime between July and September but is also deciding how to avoid subsequent delays after lawmakers sliced USD235 million from the technology’s procurement budget.

In late December 2020 President Donald Trump signed a USD2.3 trillion comprehensive spending bill for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) that included a steep IVAS spending cut and called for the service to detail additional per unit costs and fielding plans. Lieutenant Colonel Brad Winn, the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team’s IVAS lead, recently updated Janes about its development effort with Microsoft to militarise the company’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to include linking the device to One World Terrain and Nett Warrior.

Lt Col Winn said he anticipates meeting the remaining IVAS prototyping and testing milestones, adding that “we’re still on track to field the first unit with IVAS in the fourth quarter of FY 2021”. However, the service is conducting an analysis to determine “when and how many systems” will be included in the FUE batch.

”As of right now, we don’t see production delays for FUE,” Lt Col Winn wrote in a 12 January email. “Beyond that, it’s too soon to say if or how the cuts will impact [the programme].

“Funding cuts are never easy to digest because we must find ways to mitigate the impact and remain on schedule in order to get a critical system into the hands of our close combat forces in a timely manner,” he added.

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division used the latest IVAS prototype during a training exercise in October 2020. Lawmakers have cut programme funds and want additional information about the technology. (US Army)

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