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US Army spending $57 million on military simulator using CryEngine 3

Friday, 27th May 2011 20:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

American tax dollars at work: The US military us spending $57 million on “the most realistic military simulator ever developed,” using Crytek’s CryEngine 3.

Called the Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) and in development from Intelligent Decisions, the simulator allows the Army to train using a videogame environment with real weather effects, squad-based interactions, and motion sensor tech.

“What we’re trying to do with infantry squad-level training is suspension of disbelief, and the CryEngine 3 is the best video game technology on the market today,” said Floyd West, director of strategic programs, Orlando Division of Intelligent Decisions.

“With CryEngine 3 being used for Crysis 2 and the capabilities that game engine provides, it allows us to make the most realistic simulation possible. We’re able to transport soldiers to accurately recreated locales like Afghanistan and Iraq, where we can simulate everything from visuals to 360-degree sound.”

Army personnel will use special “head-mounted displays on their helmets,” to be able to use the virtual word, but will also need to use “real-world peripheral vision to ensure they don’t bump into their squad mates.”

Each soldier will also don a backpack, called a “man wearable system,” which is basically a laptop, and then run around using the simulator, which is a training area with a 10-by-10 foot pad.

“While the man wearable units aren’t running on an off-the-shelf Alienware, the internal components themselves are commercial off-the-shelf CPU’s and GPU’s like NVIDIA graphic cards and whatnot,” said West during his interview with GamePro.

“The goal is to complete common operating environments, so the things the Army is doing today would be Afghanistan, the mountainous, cavernous regions, and the Iraqi desert-like regions, as well as wooded areas.

“We have some geotypical and common operating environments built-in for training, but the system will come with an editor that allows real missions to be created in the field.”

West went on to say CryEngine 3 was used due to the tech’s ability to accurately depict: “ground vehicles, aircraft, dismounted infantry, and guided weapons, footprints, disturbed soil and grass, rolling terrain, and dense vegetation.”

It will also allow military trainers to modify a particular mission before sending Special Forces or other soldiers out.

The Army plans to have 102 systems installed globally by January 2012.

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29 Comments

  1. Maximum Payne

    When Arma 3 comes out it will eat cryengine for breakfast :P

    #1 4 years ago
  2. NightCrawler1970

    Is Socom 4 and MAG is not realistic for the soldiers?? like Team Death match or taking over a post(MAG) or stealing a truck behind the enemy lines????

    I remember i was playing(VALOR), and we plays agains very professionals Raven(one of the member send a message to Valor player) that they where Florida Seals that had a day off, well basically we as Valor getting ASS kicked by a bunch of Navy seals that plays Raven, and i was not trusting the way the Raven was playing, they play(under sabotage) formation of 5×3(attack team) and 2×5(defense team) that was protecting there mates(normally, snipers)…

    It took them 10 minutes… man they’re good lmao….. never been STAMPEDE BY SEALS!!! but we have a laugh after when the one seal send a message “Ya’ll being asskicked by the Navy Seals”…..

    #2 4 years ago
  3. rrw

    #2 notsureifserious.jpg

    Update: cool story bro, that remain me one of my friend that work as SWAT. he claim that L4D2 realistic mode or something like that is very hard even for SWAT and actually good practice for communication skill as SWAT commander

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    I wonder what kind of simulator they’re building. There have been lots of attempts at making simulators, but often they get stuck in an peripheral role in tactics class where they’re used as glorified power point presentations.

    It seems like a pretty tall order to recreate combat without a physical component.

    @1 Keep the faith on that one.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    @1 :D ahaha.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Bloodyghost

    Man Crytek is making bank!

    Dubai Police, and several other countries have invested a lot of money into the engine to produce simulators.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    @4 @5 Well I don’t know if you laugh at me because I right or wrong :D but I don’t see more realistic simulator then Arma…IMO they could mods for it to suit for them:D

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    @7, it was just hillarious statement. :D you have a very good sense of humour.

    I agree with you about the most realistic simulator.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. DSB

    Except, ArmA isn’t realistic, and technically it’s not even a simulator since it doesn’t actually simulate any systems by attempting to replicate them, it merely designs around them to make it seem like it does.

    It’s certainly getting prettier, and it was nice to see ArmA II step up its game once Arrowhead came along, but it still has very little to do with actual reality, which is what a simulator is all about.

    I consider it one of the best games out there to “play soldiers” with, just like when you were a kid and you had a box of little plastic figures. A game like Combat Mission Shock Force goes a lot further in trying to capture reality.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Maximum Payne

    @9 But i was thinking like ARMA have good ”background”(dont know how to say it on english) because they already made like bullet drop,vehicle physics,full body awareness… And that Crysis nor Crytek don’t have…

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 That doesn’t make it a simulator though. None of that is very hard to do.

    The vehicles are really extremely simple, they don’t respond realistically to getting hit (something like an Abrams could potentially take 20 RPG hits before starting to feel it) they do extremely poorly in terrain, and making them work with infantry in a tactical way is still appallingly difficult.

    Seriously, try to make a vehicle advance with a squad, effectively. Only a few people I’ve seen have been able to make scripts that make them act in a somewhat proper way. In general, making any unit bring its firepower to bear in a way that’s effective, is extremely difficult.

    A simulator would have to account for things like casualties and casualty evacuation, morale/suppression (more than simply an array like doFlee, in ArmA), M16′s, M249′s and poorly maintained AK47′s jamming, fire control for airstrikes and artillery, and everything else that plays a very real role in actual combat today.

    It’s good to play soldiers with, but in terms of actual realism, it’s vastly overrated. Just looking at the configs and scripting betrays how simple it really is.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Maximum Payne

    @11 Agree I just say is Cryengine really up to Army’s request ? But hey the bought 100 PS3 to make one supercomputer!!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Freek

    “Each soldier will also don a backpack, called a “man wearable system,” which is basically a laptop, ”

    I looooooovveeee army speak! Is that a cup? No it’s a “man operated, liquid containment vessel”. Tanks now come with a “man operated, liquid containment vessel-dynamic stabilization unit” also known as a cup-holder. Although because it’s designed by the US army it’s now gyrostabilized, bullet proof and costs a million dollars.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DSB

    @12 A simulator doesn’t need to look excessively pretty, it just needs to accurately render an environment for training purposes.

    But that’s why it would be pretty interesting to learn what they’re looking to do with that simulator. Quite often the infantry simulators are of very little use.

    @13 And they use 360 controllers to fly the Predators around. I wonder what the military nomenclature for those are.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Noodlemanny

    I would probably say that the cryengine is the safer bet. Simply because its made to a higher budget. Arma is a PC only game meaning its more low budget, you can tell by looking at the graphics and simply playing it. The cryengine by nature is going to be way more complicated and precise. Although the cryengine is going to have been developed to fit to a more accessible game than that used in Arma, simply to make sure all that added funding pays off.
    Ultimately though how the GAME uses the engine determines how realistic it is, “The rifle is only as good as the soldier”.

    @ 13
    That made me really Lol. And I don’t do that very often.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. xxJPRACERxx

    The Army already use the “pro” version of ArmA, VBS2.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Maximum Payne

    There is trailer!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OglCqZq3pcE&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
    AND LOL FOR COMMENTS ON YOUTYBE!

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Uncontested

    When I went to Infantry Anti Armor Leaders Course in early 2007 the Marine Corps was using a Simulator developed by the same company that made the original ArmA, based off the ArmA engine I believe as well. Was pretty interesting, We had a scenario with our class in a mounted (See: Humvees) patrol through a middle eastern city and then the Instructors used in game enemy characters as Snipers.

    We had to locate the snipers using the in game communication (See: Headsets) that were set to sound ‘kind of’ like real radios we used.. The first time through they wiped us out because half the people there had never played a computer game and didn’t grasp the concept of using a mouse to aim and etc, lol.

    By the 6th scenario they were still wiping us out but that was because they set IEDs all over the place and blew our convoy to hell anytime we got close to taking them out lol.

    As for #2.. sorry bro but that sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Gekidami

    @17
    “Be careful US Army! It will only ship with DX9 support! Don’t be fooled!
    SuperAdamAnt89″

    :D

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    I still believe what US is doing right now is outrageous.
    Buying some shitty simulation games from game developers is absurd.

    57 million for freakin simulation videogame?

    Come on. Their National federal debt is 14 000 000 000 000.00+
    That does not mention the debt of all banks together in US. USA is in the situation where their nation can extinct with their dollar and americans still like to to play “at a high price” when it comes to their military for NO reason at all.

    Look for example at Russian elite military forces example.

    Russia does not need this shit. They have Specnaz for example that don’t use any simulation PC Game. All they do is train everyday since 18 and with the last exam where you need to run full of equipment with AKM through forest, then swamp, then another stuff like for 30 KM, then last “12 minutes of hell” (they call it) when you need to fight with your comrade and if you survive and in the end shoot the gun (if AKM is working after this marathon you passed) you get the red beret that is a symbol of Specnaz.
    Thats a REAL training and thats why they are still the best operatives in the business since Soviet Union.

    or German military “Bundeswehr” where these guys train for ranks in it’s military career. That system was created in Prussia and later German in 1940 used it to create it’s own military in short period of time. They don’t spend a lot and they train in the woods all the time. Everyday… Sometimes they train with other europien countries together.

    So whats here? Us soldiers will play CRYSIS 3 and feel better when they are going to another Arabian country? Pfff… =\

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DSB

    @20 In a budget of 1,5 trillion dollars, very few people at the department of defence will ever know it exists.

    Sadly that’s the case with most ministries of defence, where you have civilians or officers with next to no understanding of combat, actually buying the weapons and equipment for it.

    You’re not really understanding the purpose though. None of it is going to replace actual combat training. It’s probably going to be a visual indicator simulator as Uncontested describes, meant to allow you to spot shooters and IEDs.

    The US still has some of the most impressive special forces in the world, so I don’t know where you’re going with that last bit. In Iraq under McChrystal, they were running up to 3 raids a night. That’s literally flying around in a helicopter, busting down doors in unsecured neighbourhoods, getting into firefights and maybe even losing comrades, but still getting on the bus and going to the next place.

    I don’t think anyone would doubt their professionalism.

    Spetsnaz have performed poorly in their last few campaigns. The strategy of the USSR was to try and make them out as supermen during the Cold War, claiming things like they weren’t assigned vehicles, because they’d just steal them from whatever army they were up against. Bullshit, obviously.

    I’m not sure I’ve heard of German forestdwelling armies, but I’m sure they’re great.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. OrbitMonkey

    Why spend $57 million now, when they can get MW3 for $50 in November?

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    “In Iraq under McChrystal, they were running up to 3 raids a night.”

    fighting against poor arabians with shitty Medieval military full of old AK-47 is an achievement? Come on… Come on. Thats not even funny. all the world saw how it is going.
    http://data.primeportal.net/m1_iraqp/rob_m1_broken/Iraq%20021.jpg Broken Abrams all over the place, not even because someone shot it, but because tanks could not even survive in that heat is just pure comedy.

    “Spetsnaz have performed poorly in their last few campaigns.”

    they performed poorly only once, when Soviet Union collapsed. At that time “Mechel” didn’t had any support from the government that didn’t existed. Obvious situation is obvious.
    but after 1991 they are in perfect shape. These guys eliminated a leader of the Chechen rebel movement in 2006 – Salmanovich Basayev and his army. The biggest FSB campaign in history. How is this not a success?

    “’m not sure I’ve heard of German forestdwelling armies, but I’m sure they’re great.”

    they are very good.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/040610-N-1823S-348_G36andpracticenade.jpg

    Example in which American troops (behind) stand and watch how these guys train. They don’t have sick reputation like Specnaz, but they have reputation of skilled guys that work in secret for counter-terrorism purposes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundeswehr – info.

    “You’re not really understanding the purpose though. None of it is going to replace actual combat training. It’s probably going to be a visual indicator simulator as Uncontested describes, meant to allow you to spot shooters and IEDs.”

    for 57 million US dollars… a game and probably simulation equipment. Comedy.
    No offence, but this is a smell of a corruption. I’m sure that few military fanatics that likes programming can make from the CE3 or ARMA engine it’s own simulation videogame (even with equipment) and to sell for less then 1 million :D
    The only difference is that these guys don’t have decent brand name, marketing support and it’s own Bobby Kotick that likes money for breakfast.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    @22, too much arcade stuff :D

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Uncontested

    Shitty arabians with medieval weaponry? Are you fucking high? Don’t fucking run your mouth you stupid bitch if you don’t know what you’re talking about fuck face.

    You know what the Russians are fighting in Chechnya? By your logic: Muslims with shitty weapons. (Oh right, the Russians lost between 4,700 and 7,000 troops in Chechnya the second time around, when the US has been fighting 2 wars to lose less than that.)

    FYI Those Chechens were there fighting us in Iraq too, Former Special Forces operatives from Saddam’s regime (Republican Guard), Iranian, Saudi, Syrian trained special forces/snipers/etc operatives.

    So keep playing arm chair military analyst because you obviously don’t know shit and just feel like sitting here trashing the U.S.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Hunam

    Wow, you’re all such nice people.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. DSB

    @23 They were not just poor arabs, although I don’t think you’d want to be the first guy through the door to a bunch of poor arabs with AK-47′s, either. Quite a few were foreign fighters, highly trained by Al Qaeda, some were former Fedayeen, and some were Iranian agents.

    Combat, and close quarters combat, isn’t a question of training or schoolboy “stats” – It’s not a cardgame where the numbers win. It’s a question of hiding behind a corner and shooting whoever comes around it in the face. A bullet doesn’t care if you’re Delta Force or a farmer with a shotgun, it’ll kill you just the same.

    You might not find it impressive sitting behind a computer screen, but anyone who’s studied this sort of thing is in awe of what they managed to accomplish, very noticeably creating a massive drop in carbomb and suicide attacks.

    Spetsnaz (as in the various tiers of Russian special forces) performed very poorly in the Chechnyan campaign, getting ambushed time and time again, and they suffered appalling losses in the Beslan school siege.

    I don’t see why you’re surprised that the US lost tanks during an invasion. That’s combat. People tend to shoot back every once in a while, and getting hit has consequences, no matter how good your vehicle is. If you look at the actual numbers of casualties from Abrams getting hit, it’s really quite impressive. One was immobilized and on fire for 24 hours, but the crew still managed to survive.

    I’m sure the Germans are perfectly capable in combat, but they’re still not achieving a better casualty rate than the Americans on a by-engagement basis, and their vehicles certainly aren’t of a better quality (Fuchs and Marder don’t stand up to IEDs very well either).

    If you really want to know about combat performance, beyond Wikipedia articles or online fantasy, you should study the actual circumstances on the ground, and the systems involved. There are quite a few books on those subjects.

    The US military certainly isn’t perfect, and personally I don’t like their “fire support above all” doctrine, but their soldiers are still performing extremely well compared to any armed force currently fighting, and there’s a reason why so many other militaries sign on to train with their specialized regiments.

    I don’t disagree with you that ministries of defence are typically some of the greatest wasters in any society, though. Far too often people are left in charge who have no place being there. How can you expect to buy a proper infantry fighting vehicle when you’ve never even held a rifle?

    The same thing goes for the military ranking system itself. Far too often it’s about playing politics, rather than earning your spot. That’s how it’s always been, though, and it just makes the efforts of the average soldier and NCO all the more impressive.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    +1 to DSB and Uncontested.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. blackdreamhunk

    i bet it is coming to the pc ahahahahaha

    #29 4 years ago

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