SAF-TAC capabilities expand for JTACs
SimCentric’s new mixed reality variant of its SAF-TAC system enables a JTAC to use emulated equipment such as a laser rangefinder in the virtual environment. (Photo: SimCentric)
Joint endpoint attack controllers can enhance their training in the virtual world with mixed reality.
SimCentric used I / ITSEC 2021 to reveal an MR capability in their SAF-TAC VR training system.
Vice President of Innovation Tom Constable said shepherd that SAF-TAC uses the open source UnReal engine to leverage the huge investment made by the gaming industry in its technology.
He explained that the goal is to create a military training system that will engage users, that is portable and available when needed. All versions of SAF-TAC use the OpenXR tool integrated into Unreal Engine as standard.
The basic SAF-TAC Solo provides simple Android-based individual stand-alone capability that consists of a HMD MetaQuest 2 and two handheld controllers, each with just two switches: grab and pull.
The user can thus perform simple individual training in the virtual world, using various weapons and equipment and with automated instruction. The officer stressed that this focused on the processes and not on the actual skills.
SAF-TAC also offers collective training capability down to the platoon level, using the same equipment plugged into a laptop computer, allowing low level tactics, techniques and procedures to be learned and practiced. The officer noted that this was particularly useful for the training of subordinate commands.
SimCentric has now added the MR SAF-TAC JTAC to the range. This uses a Varjo XR3 headset with pass-through cameras and two VIVE articulation controllers. It offers human eye resolution with a fully synthetic envelope and is integrated with SimCentric’s SAF-FIRES joint fire software solution.
The MR capability enables the use of emulated equipment in the virtual world by allowing the JTAC to see and manipulate objects within an adjustable range of the headset. For example, an emulated LRF can be seen and manipulated, but the sight image will be that of the virtual environment.
Basic versions have been tested extensively by the UK and other forces. The agent said the SAF-TAC JTAC was delivered to the first, unspecified customer in late January 2022.