British technology start-up Improbable has signed a new deal with the Army which will allow more military personnel to use its wargaming software.
The company is developing software which can allow thousands of people to simultaneously play multiplayer video games.
Improbable’s technology is also used for wargaming and military simulations for defence companies.
The new deal between Improbable and the British Army will see the company’s technology used as part of the Army’s Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP).
This programme, which the Army has called a “surrogate for warfare,” is expected to cost more than £600m. Improbable declined to provide the value of the new contract.
The technology will be used by the Army to develop “synthetic training environments,” the company said on Thursday.
The Army hopes to eventually develop a “single synthetic environment” which will combine real soldiers on the ground, people controlling virtual avatars, as well as completely simulated enemies and allies.
The start-up has already been providing the Army with its wargaming software since last year as part of a separate project.
The Telegraph reported in June that Ministry of Defence spending logs revealed that the company has been paid more than £8.3m for the use of its technology by Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s armed forces.
Improbable also won a contract with the US Department of Defence in 2017, for which it was paid $5.8m (£4.4m).
The company has received more than $600m from backers including SoftBank and NetEase.
Major-General Bobby Walton-Knight, the head of training capability for the British Army and the director of the CTTP, said: “Recent events have demonstrated the breadth of the Army’s utility to support our national interests and the complex and ever-changing operational environment.”
“We need an equally multifaceted and dynamic training environment to best prepare our people. This project is ambitious, it seeks to break boundaries and demonstrate a future immersive yet cost efficient training environment for all operational scenarios from national resilience to war fighting.”