Microsoft’s Billion-Dollar Army Program Targeted for Cuts

The U.S. Army would lose about a quarter of its requested funding for a program led by Microsoft to develop a heads-up display and night vision for ground forces, under a House draft fiscal 2021 Pentagon spending measure.

  • House Appropriations Defense subcmte proposed cutting $235.5m from the program, known as the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, for which the Army requested $906m — not all of which would go to Microsoft — to buy 40,219 headsets, according to a report accompanying the draft bill and obtained by Bloomberg Government
  • Panel writes in funding tables that money was “ahead of need”
  • IVAS would enable commanders to project information onto a visor in front of a soldier’s face, and would include other features such as night vision
  • NOTE: Army in Oct. 2018 awarded Microsoft a $480m contract to adapt its HoloLens augmented reality headset
    • Army plans to buy 108,251 systems quickly and FY2021 bill would have funded 37% of total
  • Follows move by Senate Armed Services Cmte to limit 50% of FY2021 IVAS funding pending transparency from Pentagon
  • NOTE: House Appropriations Cmte is scheduled to consider Pentagon spending measure July 14
  • Related: Senate May Rein In Microsoft’s Billion-Dollar Army Program
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