Russian Special Forces Received New Virtual Reality Simulators – What Does the Training Entail?

  • The new developed simulation training is specifically geared towards paratroopers.
  • The new simulator will allow Russian Special forces (VDV) to skydive without the need to complete actual jumps.
  • The time coincides with the first release of the Odin virtual reality helmets.

Russian special forces will start training in a virtual reality setting. The new developed simulation training is specifically geared towards paratroopers. The vertical reality simulator was designed by the Man & Technologies Lab.  According to the company’s website Man & Technologies lab is a full cycle engineering design bureau.  The company specializes in the technology. However, interestingly there is no mention of any defense speciality.

The new simulator will allow Russian Special forces (VDV) to skydive without the need to complete actual jumps. the VDV is one of the largest airborne forces in the world. The first time VDV showcased its parachute drop in front of foreign delegations was in 1935. The VDV units were deployed during the Soviet Afghan war and myriad of other conflicts.

Currently, the VDV has close to 35,000 members within the Russian military. In comparison, US paratroopers do not have a separate force; they are part of other units.  However, the numbers are close to 86,000 members and based out of Fort Bragg.  Britain only has 8,000 paratroopers, and the same number is true for Germany. France is at 11,000. China has close to 25,000.

The timing coincides with the first release of Odin virtual reality helmets. The first batch contains 30 units. The helmets were designed by DEUS.  The Odin helmet prototype was first unveiled last year in Las Vegas. Odin Pre virtual reality glasses and Horus Pre laser tracking system was publicly presented during the AR/VR pavilion. The Odin helmet has a 4K resolution, a 110-degree view, a Horus laser tracking system, and a DEUS eye-tracker system. It is also very light at 340 grams. Each helmet set is reasonably priced at $1,430.

The specifications:

  • Displays: two Sharp liquid crystal displays with a resolution of 2160×2160 (total resolution of 4320×2160), refresh rate-90 Hz, 1057 PPI.
  • Optics: Fresnel lenses, viewing angle-110 degrees.
  • Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, photodiode sensors of the Horus Pre system.
  • Connectors: Mini DisplayPort, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm audio Jack.
  • Input: manipulator, built-in microphone.
  • Positional tracking: Horus laser positional tracking system With unlimited tracking area.
  • Platforms: DEUS SDK, SteamVR.

The specifications of the helmet allows monitoring of the speed of movement of the pupil and accelerates the change of the image in the visual space, all at training speed. In a VR setting, the paratrooper will practice landing precision, including control of the parachute lines, and controlling the position of the body at the time of the flight.  The helmet visualizes the jump while the simulator includes parachute-simulating fasteners and a seat, and air flow fans create an imitation of air resistance and free fall.

The simulator includes laser stations, two manipulators and software with eh Odin helmet. It could also have a civilian application for avid skydivers. Virtual reality training in the defense sector is here to stay, VR provides certain advantage and allows more options with training.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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