The US Department of Defense (DoD) has acquired Havik’s virtual reality (VR) simulation training platform for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), at a value of $19.9 million. The Havik system is a modular and customized system designed to complement DoD’s legacy simulators. It offers an immersive and mobile training experience, designed to meet the unique requirements of USSOCOM. This acquisition is a part of the DoD’s focus on integrating small businesses into the US defense industry.
- Contract Details: The US DoD procured Havik’s VR training system for the USSOCOM in a contract valued at $19.9 million, emphasizing a move towards modern, immersive training.
- Havik System Features: Havik’s system is a self-contained VR training system known as ‘Havik Joint Fires Trainer’. It offers a modular and customized approach, with the ability to separate the instructor station from the student end users, allowing for remote, immersive training.
- Small Business Innovation Focus: The contract was won under a Small Business Innovation Research Phase III award. The acquisition is reflective of the DoD’s push to incorporate smaller businesses, fostering innovation in the defense industry.
- Global Trend towards VR and Metaverse: Military training and education are predicted to be one of the largest use cases of the metaverse in the defense industry. Commercial off-the-shelf products, including Meta Quest VR headsets and gaming PCs, are making these technologies more accessible.
- Wider Implications and Challenges: The rise of small businesses like Havik in the tech industry reflects a shift in military warfare technology and a need for modernization. The report also emphasizes the critical role of semiconductors and components in manufacturing advanced electronics for network-centric warfare, indicating potential supply chain considerations.