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Air Force Taps Red 6 to Integrate AR Training System Into T-38 Jet

AR technology

Air Force Taps Red 6 to Integrate AR Training System Into T-38 Jet

Florida-based tech firm Red 6 has secured a $70 million Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contract with the Air Force to outfit the Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft with an augmented reality training system.

Red 6’s Airborne Tactical AR System will immerse fighter pilots in a training environment that projects realistic imagery of enemy aircraft. The system comes with a custom, full-color AR headset compatible with the standard HGU-55 helmet used by F-15 and F-16 pilots, Defense News reported Tuesday.

According to Red 6 CEO Daniel Robinson, the company already met with Air Force stakeholders to work out the technical requirements needed to integrate an AR system into the T-38.

Robinson told Defense News that a T-38 equipped with ATARS could start undergoing flight tests within the next six to 12 months.

“At the forefront of our mind is, how do we do this to make sure the system is completely safe and able to withstand the rigors of military flight,” Robinson said.

He added that a multiplayer version of the system is in the works, which could promote teamwork by providing trainees on different aircraft with the same view of virtual adversaries that they have to contend with.

Utilizing cutting edge technology to assist in training fighter pilots is not new in the Air Force. 

The service previously awarded SparkCognition Government Systems and Intrinsic Enterprises an SBIR contract to harness the power of artificial intelligence for improved pilot training.

Together, the companies will explore how AI and machine learning technologies can be used to implement a pilot training program that measures qualitative standards as opposed to the rigid quantitative standards employed in the current program.

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