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Applications of Virtual Reality in Military

  • Muskan
  • May 04, 2021
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Militaries in all types be it Air, Water or Land have been using virtual reality for a long time now keeping in mind its versatility. Primarily this is used in the battlefield training for the soldiers in all the aspects to prepare them for real-time scenarios. 

Let's have a look at what Virtual Reality is:

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality can seem to be a paradox but it can be understood as the generation of a virtual world and animations which can be operated from the real world as if we are a part of that virtual space. 

Technically the term virtual reality refers to the usage of computerized technology and devices to create virtual simulations. This places the viewer in the same setting so that they can not only see the image but can feel it happening right in front of their eyes, as in 3D techniques. Which is also an aspect of virtual reality. 


Being in that technology embedded with the required particular devices the users can use their sense stimulations to move up and down and to see everything as if they are really a part of a virtual world. 

Currently, virtual reality is being used in many forms in the entertainment spaces, in gaming, in education, and in medical and military training as well. 


The most common example for understanding virtual reality can be a 3 Dimensional movie by the usage of special glasses the viewer can see the entire thing as if it's happening right in front of their eyes. Similarly, the lights and sound effects are taken into consideration so as to ensure the feeling of the thing happening right in front of our eyes even though nothing of it is real. 


Technological advances play an important role in understanding and being a part of the VR world as there exist headsets which the users wear on their head while playing any game of that sort with the most popular being tennis, and it's used in the way to make them believe that they are on a tennis court and however they move their character in the game moves.

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Hence it can be said that with the help of these devices and animation the required usage can be made. Coming back to the military sector, the military has a sole purpose of training the soldiers harmlessly using such virtually real techniques as it can serve both ways, it's harmless and it's more of a real time preparation for the same.


Role of Virtual Reality in Military

Let's have a look at how various forms of militaries use Virtual Reality:

1. Air Force


The Air Force mainly uses virtual reality to teach the flight stimulations to the train all the kinds of pilots with respect to their specification, they happen to teach everything running form are used to teach flying skills, how to deal with an emergency and communication with ground control, all of it but virtually. 


This deals with providing various avenues to train the newbies using virtual reality they are provided with prototypes of the aircraft and fighter planes to be able to try their hand and The devices that are used to replicate work just like the real aircraft setup which is able to tilt, move or twist to replicate the movements of an aircraft to work in the condition of the practicality before being the real combat sphere of warfare and skies.


They would be seeing all of what they might see in a real scenario on one or multiple monitors and screens to give them an all-over view of the sky.  This makes them understand the pressure and real-time consequences of their mistakes and a practical amplification of it during the training so as to be able to generate perfection over time.

2. Navy 


The Navy is said to have full usage of Virtual Reality to be able to teach the usage of the submarine and generate the real underwater experience while training so that the people learning can continue to work on real-time devices. 


The Navy primarily uses this to teach the complex working of the submarines, wartime ships to be able to provide a  good way of teaching steering, navigation and general ship handling techniques and teach the new seamen to deal with the real time emergency salutations as well as necessary communications. 


Also this focus on generating operational entails from the ground control temperature changes and motion controls. However, the most exciting feature about the navy using virtual reality is that the submarine replica does not have monitor screens; they rely on the frequency and it relies upon the instrument readings to be able to move and seek through the position of the submarine in the water.


3. Army 

The Army uses VR headsets and devices to create the stimulation of military situations and operations. With the help of such devices, the illusions of the jungle and icy hills or whatever required can be created so as to help them train by imagining how they would be dealing with the same scenario in the real-life world and compelling them to be a part of the same scene. 

This is often done with the help of connected VR Head and eyewear and a replica of devices like guns and knives that would be used by them and in some cases they are given the objects that they might be carrying in the wartime scenario in terms of weights to be able to generate more and more perfection connected to their body with a tracking system to be able to help plot movements which will be shown to them via a virtual screen. 


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Here however the aim becomes to teach the unit to work as a team and work in a predetermined and guided way so as to encounter a scene and act accordingly. The main goal remains not to just teach the real replica situations but to teach them how to operate in a team and make the maximum in the combat citation they encounter.

Apart from this, there is another significant training required in the military sector which is of medical battlefield training.

4. Battlefield Medical Training 


  • Treating PTSD

To maintain the medical adequacy of the soldier after a traumatizing event, virtual reality training can be used to treat PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) this is done with the help of a virtual tool which enables them to have a relatively calmer experience of what they experienced during the stressful situation and help them react in the way they wanted and have a less fearful controlled version of it, to gradually have a check on their stress. 


  • Medical Emergencies 

Another way the virtual training is important medically is in the forms of rescue camps, virtual situations are made to deal with so as to train them for an on-field treatable emergency and first aid on set monitors and devices in which the trainees are enabled to work on the projected emergency. 


  • Boot Camps 

As military training is harsh and draining and it can be initially emotionally stressful for some this can be medically helped by setting up boot camps, to make them aware of the real-time training and prepare them for that. They can be during the training of harsh scenarios in a safe space equipped with a mounted display, motion tracker, and wireless virtual weapons to be able to learn to operate them safely. 

Although this needs to be considered that no amount of virtual training can be an alternative to real-time training and no amount of making something virtual seem real, can replace it. 

Yet there are several advantages of the usage of virtual reality in the military.


Advantages of VR in Military


Image showing advantages of VR in Military: Economical  Convenient  Prevents Disasters

VR Advantages in Military


1. Economical 

The usage of various devices is way more military budget saving as compared to using the real devices in even the basic teaching. This can be done without commuting to a battlefield or without even having to set up specific training and operational vehicles, ships or even weapons. The virtual weapons save the money as it enables the reuse and repeated training without wasting anything causing to not spend extra money on per trainee. This saves money as well as resource depletion which can be used somewhere else if we go on to use the virtual means of training.

2. Convenient 


The ways to use the technical devices are way more convenient and easy to operate as compared to original devices. This not just provides for a smoother version of the devices for learning but also leaves room for being able to make mistakes and learn from them. 

Also, the virtual reality tools can make your practice in a safe environment without making the trainees feel intimidated by another such encounter.

3. Prevents Disasters 


Life loss during training is a possible scenario in the case of an accident, be it in the time of learning to operate the devices or operating them in the wrong manner. When the training takes place virtually it leaves a lesser room comparatively to such accidents and conditions, before even a real combat situation or a real-time training the trainees can be somewhat prepared about the real-time experience harmlessly making it an effective way to be used in the military. 


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Being in a military sector is not just a matter of patriotism but also is of perfection and responsibility combined with inevitable and frequent disasters. Virtual reality can never replace real training in such a field, it's true but it's because of virtual reality that several avenues of better learning be it in the army, navy or air force are being operational for the trainees to make them become efficient in their work. 


The military was one of the first sectors to use virtual reality as a part and parcel of its training and it still continues to use that. Model up-gradation in the forms of replicas, software up-gradation, and as well as separate visuals for level for training is required and they are also taken care of making military usage significant. 

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