Virtual Reality – The IDF Ground Forces Battle Lab

Do you love video games? Have you always wanted to drive a tank, except your local tank-dealer never seemed to have one in stock? Then you’ll love the IDF’s Ground Forces Battle Lab.

Before a new technology is combat-ready and deployed in the field, it needs a lot of testing. However, not every scenario can be played out in real life, which is why 15 years ago, IDF’s Ground Forces Battle Lab was created. When a new system like the Iron Dome, the Trophy System or the Merkava IV needs to be tested, the Ground Forces Battle Lab creates a virtual environment in which different scenarios can be played out. These virtual environments are based on video games and include scenario generators and sophisticated artificial intelligence. Enemies and friendly forces alike can be inserted into the simulation and behave like their real-life counterparts.

IDF Ground Forces Battle Lab Tank Simulator

The Tank Simulator - Every gamer's dream

Take the tank simulator, for example. A soldier sits in front of three screens with a gas pedal, breaks and joysticks and can choose which tank crew member he wants to simulate. Each role has specific programming, and up to 11 tanks with 20-25 crew members can be simulated at once. After each simulation a full report with recommendations is created. These recommendations are translated directly into improvements for the tanks in the field.

188th Armored Brigade Tank Firing

A tank from the 188th Armored Brigade in the field

In the 15 years since its creation, the Ground Forces Battle Lab has worked on over 20 projects, some of which took up to four years to be completed. The Battle Lab is an indispensable tool which helps developers to continuously improve existing technologies and test out new ones. So come on, get in the tank.


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