Microsoft’s $22B US Army Deal Advances

Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar deal to build customized versions of its HoloLens goggles for the US Army is moving forward, one year after the Senate considered freezing half the contract, reported Bloomberg.

The deal, initially unveiled three years ago, is now worth as much as $21.9 billion over 10 years, according to Microsoft. The agreement runs for an initial five years, with an option to add another five years. The software maker will manufacture the augmented-reality devices in the US The Army announced the contract Wednesday on its website.

The initial commitment includes outfitting the Army’s entire Close Combat Force, more than 120,000 soldiers, Microsoft said. The contract also includes some Azure cloud services.

The program, known as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, aims to develop a “heads-up display” for US ground forces, similar to those fighter pilots use in the cockpit. The system would let commanders project information onto a visor in front of a soldier’s face, and would include other features such as night vision. In October 2018, the US Army awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to adapt its HoloLens AR headset, a set of goggles that overlay holograms on top of a user’s field of view, for the program.

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