What Is The Military Metaverse And Why Is Defence Looking To Exploit It?

By John Cottrell

From next-gen heads-up display helmets that allow pilots to train with or fight against AR fighter jets, to AI-powered advisors that can help soldiers take more informed decisions on the fly during real-time missions, technological marvels are changing how modern Armed Forces operate, both at home and during deployment. Looking closely at the nature of these new solutions and the ongoing trends, one can see the military’s drive to explore how virtual realms and the physical world can be bridged and closely integrated, for the benefit of the end-user. It’s in this spirit that emerging concepts of blockchain technology and the metaverse, which are rapidly developing and scaling in the commercial world, have picked up pace in defence where government and military leaders are looking for ways to create seamless experiences in training and operations and speed up their processes to deliver outcomes faster. But what would a military-focused metaverse look like and how would it bring value to defence?

Although the metaverse itself still lacks a definitive definition, the community has reached a consensus on what features users can expect to find and enjoy. This includes scalable and accessible 3D virtual spaces, seamless and secure digital experiences, layers of interactive content and social networking, to name just a few. If we wrap these together in a defence context, what we get is the convergence of Armed Forces virtual worlds, digital functions and physical operations into a single, augmented, scalable, persistent, interoperable and secure synthetic environment that can be used 24/7 to deliver value to users through next-gen immersive experiences and effective decision support.

The current state of global security is becoming more competitive, and as a result, Western militaries are being urged to increase their efforts towards digital modernisation, improve their combat readiness, and be able to react quickly to threats, whether they are considered above or below the threshold of casus belli. On the other hand, rising costs and limited budgets are compelling military forces to make compromises and seek less expensive approaches to provide regular and significant training, educational, and development opportunities, as well as everyday assistance, to their troops, seafarers, and aviators. As key technologies needed for the Military Metaverse are already available in the defence sector, government and military leaders are looking to employ these cutting-edge solutions and integrate them into a single and secure digital ecosystem that will act as a force multiplier in the field and a forum for intra-military communication and exchanges at home.

Underpinning the ongoing drive for digital transformation are hyperscale cloud-native solutions which, as the MOD Chief Information Officer, Charlie Forte, states in the latest UK MoD Cloud Strategic Roadmap for Defence, are “a critical component of our Digital Backbone [..] across all classifications”. Cloud computing can offer the means to integrate and federate novel and legacy systems in a scalable, interoperable and secure way, ultimately, leading to the formation of a military metaverse that will fundamentally change every aspect of defence, from capability acquisition and deployment to recruitment, test & evaluation and training. 

To discover more about the Military Metaverse and how to exploit it head to https://hadean.com/academy/military-metaverse/