Blog Virtual Reality in Military and Defence Industry: Uses with Examples
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Virtual Reality in Military and Defence Industry: Uses with Examples
By Veronika Petrenko
8 min read
Last updated on 19.12.2022 at 17:32
VR in Military

VR in the military is the showcase how far the virtual reality technology progressed to become the serious part of every industry. Virtual reality training made it possible for the professionals of the defence industry to upskill and go through the risky situations in virtual reality, which are otherwise either too dangerous or too expensive to live through in real life.

Military Training in Virtual Reality

vr military safety training

VR in military training is probably the most famous use of virtual reality in the defence industry. For example, soldiers of the British army turn to VR during their training. 

Virtual Boot Camp and Combat Training

Various scenarios can be created for the boot camp that is happening completely in virtual reality. As a lot of military success depends on detailed and specific training, VR makes it accessible to every professional regardless of their location and capabilities. The virtual boot camps include combat training in various scenarios, showing every possible advance of the enemy combatant, and the situations where the user can test the strategy and logic. It is a much safer way to train that allows going through situations that wouldn’t have been possible to illustrate in real life.

Equipment Training

equipment military training in vr

Instead of using fragile, very expensive and hardly accessible military equipment, VR allows projecting it in virtual environments. This makes equipment training more accessible and faster because various defence professionals can use it simultaneously. Real-time targeting aid allows military workers to train with equipment almost as real as if they had it on the field.

VR Military Medical Training

vr military medical training

Military medics are one of the most important people in the field and their work depends on their knowledge and quick reaction. Researchers already started to develop further VR training for military medical professionals. It includes the emergency medicine and anaesthesia situations, as well as the explanation of a safe route from the field to the Field Hospital.

Equipment and Assembly Maintenance in VR

military equipment and assembly maintenance in vr

VR in the military also concerns creating detailed equipment and assembly instructions. Specialists can look through the assembly virtual model and create detailed maintenance instructions for everyone that will use it. Boats, planes and military cars are significant on the field and taking care of them is just as essential as combat and equipment training.

Virtual Simulations for the Military and Defence

Simulations are one of the effective ways to immerse workers into the situation that they will regularly experience at work without spending money and time to organize them in real life.

Flight Simulation

You should understand the popularity of the global market for military flight simulations by its value projected to reach$5.8 billion by 2024. Various companies offer simulation technology that allows military professionals to immerse themselves in military or defence situations on air.

Virtual Naval Ships

military virtual naval ships

The same simulation exists for the naval forces. In fact, the US military even has virtual tours of their old military ships that everyone can attend. Simulators are created to teach military specialists how to navigate ships and assess seafighting situations.

Ground Vehicle Simulation

Military institutions are using the prototypes of military automotive vehicles to teach the army how to use them with safety and efficiency. The most effective use of this technology is with heavy vehicles, such as tanks, that cannot be transported easily to different locations.

Virtual Battlefields

military virtual battlefields in vr

It’s hard to replicate real-life battlefield situations, but virtual reality comes as close to it as possible. Soldiers can prepare themselves better for what is waiting for them by going through the battlefield simulation. In fact, the US military has a selection of virtual tours that can take you to the battlefields of the Civil War.

How VR is Used with Defence Equipment

Another use of VR in the military is the work with defence equipment. It’s not only used for training, but also for designing and manufacturing.

VR Design and Optimization of Military Equipment 

Attention to detail in creating prototypes of military equipment is crucial. This is why technology brings so much help here with its programmed attentiveness to the slightest elements of the process. For example, testing and designing military equipment, including weapons, makes it easier to see any possible weak sides and optimisation points without using them in real life.

Manufacturing New Weapons in VR

Military virtual reality weapons are playing a big role in the manufacturing of the army. The creation of weapons in VR allows manufacturers to develop prototypes faster and put them through different testing scenarios before actually investing in the creation of real weapons.

PTSD Recovery Therapy

PTSD recovery therapy in vr

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very common in the military and defence industry. Usually, after ending their military service, veterans have to work on their mental health and recover from the stress of seeing unspeakable things on the battlefield and surviving in situations of constant pressure and control. 

One of the virtual reality military uses is PTSD recovery in virtual reality. Scientists created VR technology that helps veterans to relieve stress and go through trauma. Veterans have to stand on the treadmill and watch the images of the events that left them traumatized. 40% of the participants admitted that they have seen improvements in their state after the therapy.

Remote Collaboration on Military and Defence Missions

It takes a lot of people to create something powerful with the ability to save people’s lives. Specialists that live in different countries can work together on strategies and military missions without having to be in the same space and time. Not to mention that all results of the meetings can be safely stored in the cloud where people can pick up the discussion where they left it.

UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory reported positive results after using remote collaboration in military VR training. Employees of different DSTL departments could meet in the cyber-meetings and discuss the strategy and defence matters just as if they were in the same room.

Benefits of VR in the Military and Defence Industry

  1. Natural Actions and Movements. Using the VR headsets in training doesn’t restrict soldiers’ movements, which allows them to have a better experience and, as an outcome, better preparation for real-life fighting,
  2. Better Interaction With the Unit. The military industry benefited from VR training by creating better relationships between units. By undergoing the training sessions in the virtual environment, soldiers are able to experience battlefield situations and know when they need to rely on each other.
  3. Unrestricted Access to Training. With VR, soldiers and military specialists don’t have to bind themselves to one location or time to undergo the training. They can access their training from any place with the ability to choose the time.  
  4. Training Without the Risks. Probably, the most important benefit of VR military training is that it doesn’t provide any risk for soldiers. A lot of situations on the field, as well as testing the weapons, are very dangerous. Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a safer way to complete them.
  5. VR Simulations that Adapt to any Situation. There is no limit to the situations that virtual reality simulations can show. It only depends on the creativity and professionalism of the developers.
  6. 3D Views from different Viewpoints. The luxury of having a better view of your surroundings almost isn’t possible in real military situations. However, VR helps to do it in almost every simulation.
  7. Reduced Costs. Lastly, the development of military equipment can be costly due to the complicated design and testing process. Virtual reality allows for reducing costs by doing the tests using VR headsets.

Controversial Points of Using VR in Military and Defence Industries

Even though virtual reality in the military industry proved to be beneficial, there are certain points that evoke controversy among professionals.

Security Concerns

The way military VR training help to make the learning sessions for soldiers safer and the discussions between professionals faster and more efficient can evoke only one concern. Military training and conversations in every country are considered a sacred secret and putting it all out in the cloud makes the government concerned about information leaks.

Nausea and Sickness

Some of the soldiers that went through the military VR simulations reported nausea and stated that the virtual reality training affected their health. This means that VR technology cannot be used for too long.

Software Development

Creating the software for VR training require resources and time which makes it an effective solution but one that is hard to produce. You have to make time in your calendars to produce the solution you want.

The Future of Military Training

VR is definitely taking a big part in the military industry. Scientists predict that the future will bring more development and improvements for the VR army. For instance, the manufacturers are working on creating lighter and more comfortable headsets that will help soldiers to train in virtual reality with lighter movements. It is only a matter of time before the technology develops to the point where we could see more innovations and exclusive solutions.

WE/AR specialists are creating virtual reality projects for different industries and have immense experience in them. If you want help in developing your VR solution, we will take your idea from the stage of development strategy to creating the solution and analyzing the results. You only need to contact us at, and we will give you the initial consultation.