Militaries Embrace Metaverse Technology to Enhance Capabilities

In a significant technological shift, military forces across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are rapidly adopting metaverse-based technology to enhance their operational capabilities and prepare for potential future conflicts, according to GlobalData.
US militaryThe Metaverse, a virtual world where real-time interactions and experiences take place within simulated scenarios, is gaining traction as a valuable tool for training, logistics, battle management, and frontline service.

Projected to yield a staggering $627 billion in revenue by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33 percent between 2020 and 2030, the metaverse’s potential applications in modern warfare have captured the attention of military strategists. The report, titled ‘The Metaverse in Defense,’ highlights notable initiatives within the APAC region, including those by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Singaporean Air Force, and the Korean Air Force.

As geopolitical tensions escalate and traditional military strategies evolve, the demand for innovative approaches to combat readiness has become imperative. Benjamin Chin, an Associate Analyst in the Thematic Intelligence team at GlobalData, emphasizes the transformative potential of the metaverse in revolutionizing training methodologies.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, integral components of the metaverse, are already established tools in pilot training programs due to cost-effectiveness and safety considerations. However, as military entities embrace these technologies, their applications will expand beyond pilots to accelerate training pipelines across various roles.

China, Singapore, and South Korea are at the forefront of incorporating the metaverse into their military blueprints. China’s Central Military Commission has underscored the need to bolster simulation, networking, and confrontational capabilities through the deployment of the metaverse. With an eye on strategic parity, China is heavily investing in its military metaverse to remain on par with potential adversaries.

The PLA currently employs Battle Labs, which uses Big Data, AI, and simulations to inform its military modernization plans. To this end, the PLA will closely watch the current Ukraine conflict. The PLA is also exploring the idea of metaverse-based warfare: attacking an adversary’s metaverse to cripple their command, control, communications, computers intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.

In parallel, Singapore and South Korea have ventured into the Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS) training solution, offered by US-based company Red 6. This cutting-edge system, deployable in both indoor and outdoor settings, addresses a common AR challenge and delivers in-air combat training through AR headsets. Enhancing efficiency, quality, and safety, ATARS is integrated into the US Air Force’s T-38C Talon and continues to gain traction globally.

Singapore and South Korea are interested in deploying Red 6’s M-346 trainer and T-50 trainer, respectively.

With the metaverse’s influence rapidly permeating the defense landscape, its role in shaping the future of military preparedness and conflict resolution is undoubtedly poised for substantial growth. As APAC militaries harness the power of this virtual realm, the traditional boundaries of military innovation are being redrawn, ushering in a new era of strategic possibilities.

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