Anticipating threats and responding decisively represents a major challenge for military decision-makers. Obtaining the necessary strategic military experience requires extensive training, well in advance of interventions, and far from the battlefield.

Physical tactical sandboxes have been used to plan missions and train personnel since Roman times, but new technological innovations and the latest developments in augmented reality have created huge opportunities to design a tactical sandbox fit for 21st Century military requirements. Airbus Defence and Space has leveraged these advances to develop the ‘Holographic Tactical Sandbox’.

This tool is a true game changer for military operations, supporting the same ancestral process – whilst offering faster preparation, better and, ultimately, remote collective mission preparation, and an improved perception of the battlefield. Commanding and staff officers and NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) are now able to conduct mission briefs or rehearsals with an interactive 3D holographic map, using augmented reality glasses.

Integrated into the chain of command, this tool provides an accurate 3D representation of the battlefield, using information supplied by Airbus’ Fortion® TacticalC2 application. Operators can view and even create information, shared with higher or lower decision-making levels.

By facilitating operational planning and decision-making, the ‘Holographic Tactical Sandbox’ shortens the observation and decision- making loop. In addition to its operational benefits, this lightweight, ergonomic and compact technology offers several other advantages:

  • Remote tactical planning: Thanks to an avatar, military leaders can meet around a holographic map even if they are not in the same FOB (Forward Operating Base)
  • Improvement of the battlefield perception: Augmented reality allows players to experiment the battlefield in advance. They can feel and anticipate the main sensitive military data (planimetrics, intervisibility, covered infiltration tracks, etc.)
  • Time-saving: No tedious sandbox to build. Digital maps easy to load in the system. The battle captain can focus on his primary tasks.