The US Air Force (USAF) has extended its partnership with SimX to use the latter’s virtual reality (VR) medical simulation platform to develop operational medical training systems.

The VR training will be part of the new Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) programme, worth $1m.

It is based on the SimX VR military simulation training capabilities that are already in use with the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Additionally, the programme will permit the military adaptation of existing civil SimX cases to assess and tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project was initiated under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct to Phase II programme, in partnership with AFWERX, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and innovation specialists from the USAF.

AFWERX and AFRL have streamlined the SBIR process to boost the experience, broaden the applicant pool and reduce the bureaucratic overhead.

SimX chief technology officer Karthik Sarma, who is the programme’s principal investigator, will partner with USAF 24th Special Operations Wing (SOW) wing surgeon and USAF Pararescue medical director colonel John Dorsch.

Dorsch said: “The VALOR programme will increase overall medical capability and improve survival rates in US, Coalition, and partner force combat casualties.

“These capabilities are critical for ensuring that the highest level of combat trauma and austere medical care are provided by the 24th SOW’s special operations ground forces.”