UK government signs up Virtual Battlespace 2

British Ministry of Defence picks up rights to use 3D military training system 'based on Operation Flashpoint' to prepare recruits.


British soldiers may soon be playing the latest version of a "military alternative" to Operation Flashpoint as part of their training--the UK's Ministry of Defence has purchased an enterprise licence for the 3D training system Virtual Battlespace 2.

Virtual Battlespace 2 was announced on April 17 and is based on the commercial gaming engine Real Virtuality, created by Bohemia Interactive. It includes a number of new features not in the original, such as an after-action review system and a library which lets all vehicles and weapons be tested.

Virtual Battlespace 1--described as "based upon the popular computer game Operation Flashpoint, [which was] a very advanced game for its time"--has been used by customers including the United States Marine Corps and the Australian Defence Force.

The MOD has bought the enterprise licence for the latest incarnation, which also comes with the VBS2 Virtual Tool Kit, a series of editors to modify and configure simulations for various training demands.

Other features offered to the MOD include a custom terrain editor, with an urban area, a large detailed building complex, an airfield, and a harbour; three training courses; and specially tailored modules containing UK vehicles, weaponry, aircraft, and ships.

Bohemia Interactive is an independent game developer, founded in 1999, and has studios in the Czech Republic and Australia. Other simulation titles it has worked on include Virtual Battlespace, the Virtual Responder Trainer, and Loadmaster Virtual Reality Simulation.

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