Global developer of advanced military training and simulation software, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), has been awarded a five year, prime contract by the US Army to deliver perpetual licenses of Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3) and related services to its Games For Training (GFT) VBS3 Concurrency Program of Record.
Used by more than 30 militaries including the ADF, VBS3 is a comprehensive desktop training package based on commercial video game technology, providing a virtual learning environment for land, air and sea training and mission rehearsal applications. It combines a comprehensive content library, scenario development tools, and after action review capability, and immerses trainees in a high-fidelity virtual environment honed over many years to minimise negative training and maximise training impact.
In addition to delivering VBS3 licenses, BISim will provide support and upgraded versions of VBS3 for the US Army. BISim will also make enhancements to existing VBS3 capabilities, including its radio and communications system, provide online training course support, and develop additional capabilities in VBS3 as requested by the US Army.
“The Army has been creative at adapting VBS3 for many varied training requirements and exploiting the development capabilities of VBS3 to create custom training solutions,” Brian Domian, assistant product manager, Games for Training, US Army PEO STRI said. “This contract establishes a direct relationship with BISim that will enable continued collaboration over the next five years.”
The US Army previously awarded the Games for Training program in 2013 with BISim as a key subcontractor and prior to that BISim was a key subcontractor delivering VBS2 for the Army’s Game After Ambush contract in 2009.
“The US Army is a world leader in leveraging game-based technologies to train personnel on a wide range of tactics, techniques and procedures,” Co-CEO Bohemia Interactive Simulations Arthur Alexion said.
BISim Australia is attending the Australasian Simulation Congress presently. Managing director Ryan Stephenson told ADM that the Australian Army's main use of VBS3 is in the seven battle simulation sites, essentially large computer labs where cohorts of warfighters are cycled through for cognitive training.
“We're now moving into the pure image generation (IG) market; VBS3 is a simulation tool but it also does visualisation.”
Stephenson explained that VBS Blue IG is a pure visualisation tool which complies with industry standards and can be retrofitted to existing simulators.
“So basically we have a product now that can provide a refresh for legacy simulators or be used on new simulators.”
At the exhibition, BISim will showcase VBS Blue IG visuals in a demonstration of an F/A-18 jet flight simulation using a D-BOX Motion-Cueing System and Ausimtech motion platform, flying over a high-resolution, whole-earth database, with geo-specific Shoalwater Bay terrain in VBS IG.
“We owe our existence to the ADF actually, they funded early development of our products in the early 2000s,” Stephenson said. “We're continuing to grow and our team now numbers 14 and supports customers in the whole Asia Pacific region including Singapore, NZ, Japan.”
Stephenson said the ADF would benefit from the establishment of a simulation career stream, such that simulation expertise within the ADF is not only retained but grown.
“There are some excellent proponents of simulation within Defence who understand the area very well; but this isn't consistent across the entire organisation.”