Microsoft’s billion-dollar deal with the US military over modified HoloLens AR headsets is fateful. According to media reports, significant budget cuts are now underway, which could lead to the project being halted. That was reported by Bloomberg online magazine with reference to the latest developments.
Accordingly, the responsible Senate committee, which oversees defense spending, has decided to make significant cuts to the military for the HoloLens in 2023. It was revealed early this year that there were problems with the project that shook the whole deal. Microsoft announced last year that it had won a $22 billion contract from the US military to build a tactical AR headset for soldiers based on HoloLens 2 technology. This gigantic order sounded like a great starting point for further developing the HoloLens.
Now, the Defense Affairs Subcommittee has announced it has cut $350 million from the military’s procurement plans for IVAS, leaving only about $50 million. The subcommittee also expressed concern about the effectiveness of the program.
The government does not believe in success
“The commission remains concerned that IVAS continues to face software, hardware, and user adoption issues that the military has not adequately addressed,” it said in official correspondence. “While the committee was encouraged by the Army Department’s 2021 decision to extend the testing and evaluation phase for an additional 10 months, it notes that IVAS 1.1 still has significant development challenges.” Earlier this year, Congress froze $394 million from the military’s IVAS budget.
All in all, it now seems that Microsoft cannot sustain the project at all. However, a statement about the future of the IVAS is not yet available. However, the subcommittee increased spending on a number of other military programs, including ground vehicle procurement, Abrams tank upgrades, Stryker upgrades, new armored commercial vehicles, and approved budgets for AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
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