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Army Personnel Use Lockheed-Made VR Facility for Hypersonic Tech Assessment

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U.S. Army soldiers in Fort Sill, Okla., are using virtual reality in a Lockheed Martin-built laboratory to inspect the prototype of a long-range hypersonic weapon and suggest improvements.

The Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory, or CHIL, is a mixed-reality center where personnel can use 3D glasses, virtual reality headgear, controllers and holograms to interact with LRHW components, the Army said Wednesday. Users are able to pick up and inspect assorted LRHW parts while using the CHIL.

The LRHW prototype contains a battery operations center, common hypersonic glide body missiles and a 40-foot transporter erector launcher.

“Identifying potential issues early on in the development process is crucial because it is easier and cheaper to adjust design during the concept phase as opposed to production,” said 1st Sergeant Michael Weaver, a member of the 1-31st Field Artillery Battalion, 434th Field Artillery Brigade at the Fort Sill Fires Center of Excellence.

The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office plans to transport the prototype to a battery sometime before or in 2023. Lockheed is the system integrator for the LRHW prototype.

In September, Dynetics (now a Leidos company) received a $351.6M other transaction agreement to develop CHGB prototypes. Dynetics chose General Atomics, Lockheed and Raytheon to deliver components that support the missiles’ flight control features.

Plans are being made for a ‘CHILNET’ that will enable different users to utilize the laboratory’s technology from remote locations.