Army seeks $255M to procure more than 3,000 IVAS augmented reality systems in fiscal 2025

The Army wants to buy 3,162 units of Microsoft's Integrated Visual Augmentation System 1.2.
Spc. Layne Alfieri, a soldier assigned to 1st Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, dons an Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) 1.2 prototype during the IVAS 1.2 Phase One User Assessment held by Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier on Fort Drum, August 22, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Jason Amadi, PEO Soldier Public Affairs)

The Army is requesting $255 million in fiscal 2025 to buy more of the latest variant of Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, as the service gears up for operational testing.

That amount would go toward procuring 3,162 IVAS 1.2 heads-up-display systems, according to newly released budget justification documents. The HUD/puck tactical kits will come with conformal wearable batteries, advanced battery chargers, and a “tactical cloud package.”

The proposal also includes $98 million for research, development, test and evaluation related to the technology, officials told reporters last week during a meeting to preview the Army’s budget proposal, which was officially rolled out Monday.

IVAS is one of the Army’s highest-priority modernization initiatives. The tech includes ruggedized headgear with augmented reality capabilities, inspired by Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 device. The service aims to use the equipment for both training and battlefield operations for dismounted troops.


“Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) HUD provides a multiple generation single platform for [a] Soldier to fight, rehearse, and train in day and night that provides increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness necessary to achieve overmatch against our current and future adversaries,” budget justification documents state.

The new variant, known as IVAS 1.2, was developed to address soldier complaints stemming from testing of previous versions.

“The investment [planned for fiscal 2025] … is all tied to 1.2. Right? So the new improved, we believe, we hope — still gotta go through a lot of testing — you know, combat-capable version of it,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Doug Bush told reporters last week during a meeting to preview the Army’s budget proposal. “Those amounts are in there based on our hope for success there.”

The Army’s R&D plans for 2024 included developing software for IVAS “that enables soldiers to intuitively relay reconnaissance intent to a team of autonomous sensors and quickly interpret feedback from the systems and make targeting decisions,” according to budget justification documents.

The Army also wants to explore algorithms that use voice commands, eye movements, and hand gestures to interact with the system for “relaying intent and closing the targeting cycle more effectively,” as well as develop “feedback mechanisms” in the Android Tactical Assault Kit and IVAS to improve the AI algorithms “once soldiers recognize mistakes by the autonomous sensors.”


Plans for 2025 include making improvements related to the heads-up-display design, thermal and low-light sensors, IVAS extensibility, form factor, reliability, reducing weight, and developing AI data integration and applications, per the budget justification documents.

The Army is slated to conduct operational testing in the second quarter of fiscal 2025, which will inform a production and fielding decision in the fourth quarter of that fiscal year. The plan is to transition IVAS to a major capability acquisition pathway no later than October 2025.

Microsoft delivered the first IVAS 1.2 headsets to the Army last year for soldier evaluation, and the service awarded Microsoft $95 million to build more systems for what Bush called “the next step in rapid prototyping.”

The IVAS program could be worth as much as $21.9 billion if it comes to full fruition.

Jon Harper

Written by Jon Harper

Jon Harper is Managing Editor of DefenseScoop, the Scoop News Group’s online publication focused on the Pentagon and its pursuit of new capabilities. He leads an award-winning team of journalists in providing breaking news and in-depth analysis on military technology and the ways in which it is shaping how the Defense Department operates and modernizes. You can also follow him on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter) @Jon_Harper_

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