PLA soldiers at a VR-assisted combat training session.
China has started training its military personnel with the help of virtual reality (VR) technologies to increase their combat capabilities, according to reports.
VR refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a participant can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment with the help of electronic devices.
VR devices include specially-made goggles that have a screen-display and gloves fitted with sensors.
This enables the participant to have a realistic experience while carrying out activities under a simulated environment.
In virtual reality, the software used by developers creates a virtual or simulated environment that can be experienced by participants who wear the hardware devices like VR goggles, headphones, and gloves.
While the use of virtual reality has been quite common in video games and other recreational activities, there has been an increasing utilization of the technology in the military domain as well.
VR enables the military to practice mission plans and train soldiers anywhere, without the loss of life or property.
“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has started to use virtual reality (VR) technologies in training as it allows officers and soldiers to gain enhanced combat capability more efficiently,” China’s state-owned Global Times said quoting defense experts.
A logistics support unit affiliated with the PLA Northern Theater Command Navy carried out a wartime fuel support drill. However, unlike the usual drills, this one did not take place at any dock, but inside a simulation room.
According to the Chinese military mouthpiece PLA Daily, the participants used VR simulators to practice the disassembly of equipment, location of malfunctions, and fixing of pipelines.
As per the report, the VR training system was designed and developed jointly by the naval unit as well as the civilian developers.
It was designed to enhance the capabilities of the troops in dealing with complicated and emergency situations. The VR training software will be updated to simulate more training scenarios in the future.
“The VR training platform is not restricted by the availability of training sites, weather conditions, or the consumption of equipment. This means we can enhance training efficiency and shorten the period in which combat capability is generated,” an official told the PLA Daily.