VBS3 20.1 Release Available for Download Now

Mar 05, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (USA) — Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of advanced military simulation and training software, has released updates to VBS3. The latest release VBS3 20.1 comes with VBS Map, a new HTML-based external map tool, enhanced civilian AI pedestrian and traffic pattern-of-life behaviors (available for multiplayer use through the VBS3 Bundle), a new modular helicopter instrumentation system, and more than 100 new 3D models representing new civilian, UK, UN, Russian and Chinese vehicles, characters and environmental objects. Customers can access the new version using the VBS License Manager.

“Continuous enhancement remains a core aspect of BISim’s approach to its product development including VBS3 and all of these new features will be ported to VBS4, our next generation virtual desktop trainer and simulation host, so customers who upgrade experience a seamless transition between versions,” said Oli Arup, Senior VP, Product Management.

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.

New VBS Map Application in VBS3

VBS Map is a new stand-alone map application designed for users to train in VBS3 with a customizable 2D map, and for administrators to be able to set up, observe and evaluate all trainees from one admin station. This new capability was funded in part by a major European user.

Watch a video about VBS Map here.

VBS Map brings the following new capabilities to VBS3:

  • Enables administrators/instructors to easily configure map views to emulate C2 systems
  • Provides easy remote configuration of maps for an entire classroom of trainees
  • Allows users to have a map view open at all times while training in VBS3
  • Is HTML-based and accessible from any modern web browser
  • Includes maps for all VBS3 terrains

Training administrators and instructors can use VBS Map to create presets with stored map configurations or configure trainee maps in real time to simulate real-life device functions. For example, the map can be locked to a specific view and administrators can control what other units and military symbols will appear to trainees on their map. Administrators can also customize the appearance of the virtual device trainees by uploading an image of the device they are emulating and customize its functionality. Admins can also select what type of coordinates trainees will see and enable VBS Chalkboard drawings for trainees to view on their maps.

The map is a separate application from VBS3 but automatically connects for trainees when a scenario is launched in VBS3. Because VBS Map is HTML-based and can work from a web browser, instructors and training administrators can browse maps of terrains without a connection to VBS3 for planning and researching purposes.

Enhanced Civilian and Traffic AI Behaviors

A set of pre-programmed AI behaviors for the most common training use cases, VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 is available for multi-player training uses as part of the VBS3 Bundle. VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 leverages the VBS Control runtime, which has been supplied for free with all versions of VBS3 since VBS3 17.2. Control AI behaviors will interact with the VBS3 existing AI system.

The updates to VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 for VBS3 20.1 offer administrators expanded control of the civilian AI population behaviors. This includes enabling or disabling the civilian population on demand, using triggers to start/stop various population activities in defined areas, and linking civilian activities to areas for different functional purposes. Crowds can also be formed using special activities that interrupt other civilian pattern-of-life activities. 

The updates also include a new civilian panic behavior that can be triggered locally, both manually and automatically by administrators. Panic behaviors can also be set to end after a specified duration or ended manually. Administrators can also configure safe zones for civilians to flee to.

The realism of civilian traffic has also been enhanced. VBS3 20.1 now features multi-lane traffic by default and restricted areas can be applied to traffic defining where civilian AI vehicles can and cannot travel. Vehicle traffic flow can now be regulated by placing traffic signs and lights near junctions and crosswalks.

To support scenario designers in discovering possible issues with their civilian pattern-of-life setup, VBS3 20.1 also introduces new civilian debug and visualization tools.

Modular Helicopter Gauge System

In VBS3 20.1, BISim introduces a new helicopter instrumentation system, which features a cockpit HUD displaying various helicopter gauges as part of the vehicle interaction system. These include an anemometer, radiosonde, altimeter, artificial horizon, variometer, gyrocompass and chronometer. Any helicopter in VBS3 may be equipped with the HUD by adjusting individual helicopter model and gauge configurations. Customers can learn how to do this by referring to the VBS Developer Reference manual.

VBS Radio Improvements

The latest updates to VBS3 also include improvements to VBS Radio, the built-in voice and radio communications simulation. The updates include a new “Admin Announcements” button and channel that allow administrators to broadcast to all units in the scenario simultaneously. Also new in VBS Radio, administrators and instructors can also access a new “Speak to Trainee” capability that allows them to speak directly to a specific trainee.

100+ New 3D Models Added to VBS Library

VBS3 20.1 introduces over 100 new 3D models to the ever-expanding 16,000+ model library. The library includes variants of the following vehicles, personnel and equipment:


  • Ford Transit cargo van
  • Man TGL medium category truck
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Skoda Fabia
  • UN truck variants
  • UN station wagon light-armed patrol vehicles
  • UN Bushmaster
  • Chinese ZTZ-99A main battle tank
  • Chinese ZBD-09 infantry fighting vehicle
  • Chinese Chengdu J-10A multi-role fighter aircraft
  • Chinese Harbin Z-19 attack helicopter
  • Chinese CSK-141 light protected 4x4 vehicle
  • Russian AM1 Quad Bike
  • Russian Uran-9 Combat unmanned ground vehicle
  • HX77 ILHS 8x8 Armored Cab vehicle
  • British Army autonomous vehicles
  • OPV River Class ship (Watch a video walkthrough of the ship here.)


  • 5 new refugee classes with customizable clothing variants
  • UN Peacekeeper units
  • UAE Border Control units

New equipment

  • British Army’s Python Minefield Breaching System
  • CAR-816 rifle using BISim’s universal component system
  • 7 new Shooting Range targets
  • 3 new UN tents UN Aid worker objects including vests, tents, boxes and food sacks

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. BISim utilizes the latest game-based technology and a 200-strong, in-house team of engineers to develop high-fidelity, cost-effective training and simulation software products and components for defense applications.

Globally, more than 500,000 military personnel are trained every year using VBS software. More than 50 NATO and NATO-friendly countries and over 250 integrators/prime contractors use VBS technology, many making significant funding commitments to extend VBS product capabilities. Customers include the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Australian Defence Force, Swedish Armed Forces, French MoD and UK MoD and most major integrators. VBS products have become, by far, the world’s most widely used COTS product range in the military-simulation sector, supporting hundreds of military use cases and vastly greater military exploitation than any comparable products.