Modern war is no longer only a war of people; it has now turned into a war of technologies. And the U.S. Army is actively introducing them, becoming one of the most technologically advanced armies in the world.
The American Army is developing the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) for close-combat forces, including mounted and dismounted troops, particularly infantry. The Army’s new IVAS goggles can help soldiers see right through the walls of combat vehicles, which enables infantry troops to enhance their situational awareness during combat operations greatly.
The IVAS goggles can also help soldiers see in the dark, check around corners, and even display digital maps and other tactical data on lenses.
The new goggles already use feeds from the cameras mounted on the outside of Army vehicles. They allow a squad of six soldiers inside the Stryker and Bradley infantry vehicles to “see” through the walls of the vehicle – getting a clear picture of the scene without risking life and limb.
“Now guys aren’t hanging out of vehicles in dangerous situations trying to get views on what’s going on,” said SGT Philip Bartel with 1-2 SBCT (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). “Leadership will be able to maneuver their elements and get view-on-target without having to leave the safety of their armored vehicles. Maneuvering elements with that kind of information will minimize casualties and will overall drastically change how we operate and increase our effectiveness on the battlefield.”
The capabilities being developed for dismounted Soldiers via IVAS are amplified by integrating the system into platforms using World View, 360 degrees, and See capabilities that leverage the view of external sensors to be transmitted to the Heads Up Display (HUD) of each individual Soldier. Like HUD on fighter jets, the IVAS goggles display information such as video, maps, and night vision directly in the soldier’s field of view.
Of course, soldiers have always had access to this tactical dataset, but thanks to the IAVS, they now have immediate access – a decisive advantage during combat operations. Instead of digging through pockets for a paper map that could be based on outdated intelligence, soldiers can instantly call up a digital map in their IVAS without taking their eyes off the target objective.
IVAS was recently approved to move from rapid prototyping to production and rapid fielding in an effort to deliver next-generation capabilities to the close combat force at the speed of relevance. Team IVAS continues to iterate the hardware and software prototype towards the Operational Test planned for July 2021 and FUE in 4QFY21.