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Royal Signals Soldiers Salute VR Battlefield Training

The new system provides immersive and tactical training that aligns with the Army’s Battlecraft Syllabus

The Royal Corps of Signals soldiers have praised a VR system that provides comprehensive combined arms training to the UK military. The Interim Combined Arms Virtual Simulation (Deployable) (ICAVS (D)) was recently test-driven by more than 40 troops from Tidworth-based 207 Armoured Signal Squadron, 15 Signal Regiment.

Soldiers can now enhance their driving, manoeuvring and combat skills using Xbox and PlayStation controllers, VR headsets, and steering wheels with pedals. This allows them to control avatars within a virtual world through this computer-based training simulator, all from the comfort of their camp. 

The Royal Signals are utilising ICAVS for the first time, which significantly reduces both training costs and carbon footprint when compared to a ‘live’ equivalent.

“The ICAVS is an excellent alternative to using our Bulldog armoured fleet, with many of the vehicles located out in Germany. It helps us keep our drivers and commanders up to date with their training,” said Lieutenant Sam Cuthbertson, 207 armoured signal squadron operations officer. 

Realistic battle simulations

ICAVS(D) was designed as a pathfinder project under the Army’s Collective Training Transformation Programme. It was procured by Defence Equipment and Support and is developed and delivered by Elbit Systems UK

Last year, the ICAVS system achieved full operating capability when tested during a training event at Tidworth, Salisbury Plain by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

By employing cutting-edge high-specification hardware and Defense Virtual Simulation software, this system provides immersive and tactical training aligned with the Army’s Battlecraft Syllabus. It also empowers units to maximise the effectiveness of their live field training exercises.

Signaller Pasquini, a 207 armoured signal squadron bulldog driver says, “The staff generate different scenarios to test our skills, from crossing rivers to dealing with enemy forces. The controls are very similar to what most of us are used to with our own gaming consoles, so it was very quick to pick up.”

Despite the advantages of virtual training, it cannot fully replace the need for live training. Come autumn, the 207 Armoured Signal Squadron will put the skills acquired through ICAVS to the test during an armoured exercise in Germany.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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