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Updates to VBS3: Highlights Use of Simulation for Experimentation

Jul 16, 2019

VBS3 v19.1 includes UK Future Force Development simulated capabilities such as an Augmented Reality HUD and Active Protection System

ORLANDO, Fla. (USA) ― Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of advanced military simulation and training software, will release the latest update to its flagship product VBS3 this August. VBS3 v19.1 includes an in-game simulation of an augmented reality heads-up display (HUD), an active protection system that can be linked to any 3D vehicle in VBS3, new high-fidelity UK vehicle models, improvements to ballistic characteristics, and over 150 other stability fixes, UI and capability improvements, and performance enhancements. BISim has also released updates to the VBS Simulation SDK, VBS Control Editor and VBS Control Behavior Pack. Customers will be able to download VBS3 v19.1 using the VBS License Manager.

"A key advantage of using simulation is the ability to test new concepts and capabilities before they are deployed or even developed,” said Oliver Arup, BISim’s Senior VP, Product Management. “The latest updates to VBS3 include a range of new features developed under work for the British Army for a Future Force Development project. These include new AI behaviors for autonomous vehicles developed for use by the British Army and a simulation of an augmented reality heads-up display for players to use in-game, available for any VBS3 user.”

VBS3 provides a virtual training environment for land, air and sea training, experimentation and mission rehearsal applications. It combines a massive content library, scenario development tools, and after action review capability that immerses trainees in a high-fidelity virtual environment. The vast range of capabilities and functionality in VBS3 has been honed over 18+ years to facilitate fast, accurate scenario set up, reduce negative training, and deliver highly impactful training and mission rehearsal. VBS3 is currently used in hundreds of training use cases by over 50 militaries around the world.

Vehicle Countermeasure Systems

VBS3 v19.1 now includes editor objects for simulating vehicle countermeasure systems, including an active protection system (APS) and laser warning receiver (LWR). Developed under a Future Force Development project, the APS editor object can be linked to any vehicle and provides users with a HUD, alerting them to incoming projectiles and shows the status of the protective system. The APS settings can be adjusted to customize the effectiveness of protection, types of munition to counter, defeat and engage distance, and more.


The LWR editor object alerts vehicle occupants that their vehicle has been lased. When attached to any vehicle, the LWR equips users with a HUD that alerts them when the vehicle is lased and from what direction. Users can also adjust LWR settings such as the types of lasers to be detected and the sides of the vehicle lasers can be detected from.

Augmented Reality Display and Fog of War Settings

During work for the UK, BISim also developed a new dialog to adjust map and Fog of War settings (Fog of War refers to the situational awareness of players and what they are aware of in scenarios such as what’s visible on the 2D map in C2). This new dialog allows administrators to control VBS3 C2 views including display of unit symbols and how icons fade when no longer in direct line of sight.

BISim also developed a new editor object that, when linked to a player’s avatar, simulates a holographic augmented reality device, enhancing the situational awareness of units in the virtual environment. When an infantry unit is linked to this editor object, units and vehicles are visualized as APP6 NATO symbols on their unit’s helmet visor and the distance of each entity from the play is displayed below the corresponding symbol.


VBS Call for Fire

BISim has introduced a new artillery call-for-fire application, allowing instructors to control a simulated Fire Direction Center to provide fire support to trainees. The new application, which is being introduced as a beta feature, is designed to enable forward observer units to practice the correct procedures and events sequences when requesting fire power. VBS Call for Fire offers simulated artillery ballistics with real-time and AAR visual trajectory monitoring. Users can easily pre-plan fire missions for automatic execution. The new user interface offers configuration of timing, caliber, loadout, layout and dispersion of rounds from mortars and howitzer gunlines. Note: The U.S. Army content pack (an option during VBS3 installation) is required for this feature.


New Armored Vehicle 3D Content

Among the latest models introduced into the VBS3 content library are high-detail 3D models of the British Army’s Ajax family of armored fighting vehicles including the Ajax (turreted variant) and the Ares (Reconnaissance Support variant). BISim also developed several models of small unmanned ground vehicle (based on the Milrem THeMIS), experimental autonomous tracked and wheeled vehicles (inspired by the designs of the Black Knight and the Radpanzer 90), and quadcopters (based on the DJI Mavik).

VBS3 v19.1 also includes new vehicle models previously included with VBS3 v18.3.4 patch. These include the Titan AVLB, the Trojan ARVE, variants of the UK’s Wildcat helicopter, variants of the MAN/Rheinmetall military support vehicle fleet (UST, EPLS and CAMM) as well as Russian vehicles like the BMP-T, Kurganets-25 and Bumerang. For more details, see the 18.3.4 patch announcement.

In addition to these new models, BISim refactored its ammunition simulation to improve the performance and accuracy of shell type ammunition. This included adding more accurate penetration abilities, more accurate ballistic characteristics and rebalancing damage output for Kinetic Energy penetrators and explosive ammunition.


VBS Simulation SDK Updates

VBS Simulation SDK allows developers to customize and extend VBS3 by providing an API and suite of tools. It includes core and simulation-specific APIs, a copy of the VBS Control Editor (BISim’s advanced artificial intelligence behavior editing toolkit), and a runtime copy of VBS3. VBS Simulation SDK provides low-level, direct access to the VBS3 engine without any intermediate layer. The APIs included with VBS Simulation SDK cover everything from basic application control to mission management to environment settings.

The latest updates to VBS Simulation SDK offer several new APIs and components. These include a Gears component for creating a render-to-texture surface showing a live stream from a USB camera for mixed reality uses. Also new to VBS Simulation SDK, a MultiplayerAPI and MultiplayerListener API extension giving users full control of the server/client setup via SDK. The VBS Simulation SDK also includes a new extension of the SkeletonAPI to enable/disable hand inverse kinematics. The SDK also provides components for Draw 2D map PDF export and export of all VBS Chalkboard shapes.

The latest updates to VBS Control Editor, included with VBS Simulation SDK, enables support for simulation clients, which allows users to run scenarios with approximately 200 AI performing different behaviors per simulation client. Road path-finding has been improved to stream the road network on demand. This helps decrease mission load times and memory requirements for large maps. Collision detection for AI vehicles has also been improved.

VBS3 Bundle Introduced with Premium Features & Capabilities

Alongside the release of VBS3 v19.1, BISim introduces the VBS3 Bundle, which offers advanced features and capabilities on top of the already robust baseline. Previously, BISim offered premium features and capabilities for purchase only as separate licenses. The VBS3 Bundle brings together these premium features in a single, simple package and is priced to offer excellent value-for-money compared to the separate licenses.

The VBS3 Bundle combines VBS Control Behavior Pack 1, VBS Radio Pro, VBS Chalkboard Pro and the Chernarus terrain and, in future, will be expanded to include enhancements to Behavior Pack 1 and Chalkboard Pro as well as additional terrains. BISim is offering existing license holders of VBS Radio Pro and VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 the opportunity to exchange single licenses for VBS3 Bundle licenses (contact for advice on exchanging licenses). Learn more about the VBS3 Bundle.

About Bohemia Interactive Simulations

Founded in 2001, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) is a global software company at the forefront of simulation and training solutions for defense and civilian organizations. Our mission is to harness the explosive potential of technology to revolutionize training and simulation.

BISim utilizes the latest game-based technology and a large, experienced in-house team of engineers to develop high-fidelity, cost-effective training and simulation software products and components for defense applications.