​VR solution developer Ziwoo to release machine gun for virtual combat training

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : June 8, 2023, 15:44 Updated : June 27, 2023, 09:56

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Ziwoo Information & Technology, a virtual solution developer in South Korea, will release a machine gun that could be used in various types of virtual combat training. Along with the machine gun, the company will also provide different virtual scenarios such as maritime battles, trench warfare, and anti-tank warfare so that machine gunners can adapt to many different combat situations.
Currently, South Korea's defense forces are utilizing virtual reality-based training to overcome spatial restrictions for the country's reserve forces training. Soldiers can carry out missions at various kinds of locations like mountains, subway stations, and downtown areas actualized in the virtual world. Soldiers carry a rifle weighing about 3.8 kilograms (8.4 pounds) and wear a combat helmet, vest, and knee pad with sensors that recognize movements. If they are shot by their enemy, the sensors attached to their equipment vibrate to notify their death.
Ziwoo Information & Technology said the company would release training equipment modeled after a K6 heavy machine gun with upgraded virtual scenarios in the second half of 2023. "The South Korean military has not adopted machine guns for virtual training yet," Ziwoo's management division head Lee Tae-woo told Aju Business Daily. According to Lee, Ziwoo aims to supply the weapon for the country's defense forces which only use rifles for virtual training. The K6 machine gun can fire about 450 to 600 rounds per minute with a maximum shooting range of about 1,830 meters on the ground.
"Mounting the product on a tank would be a great achievement for us," Lee said, adding that the company would continue to expand virtual training scenarios. The training equipment is set to be showcased at MADEX 2023, an international maritime defense industry exhibition that began on June 7 in South Korea's southern port city of Busan.
Ziwoo has presented different shooting simulations where users can engage in virtual training with rifles including M4, AK47, and K2. After completing a mission, trainees can receive feedback regarding their performance. The VR solution developer aims to export its solutions to foreign countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.  

In South Korea, all able-bodied males who are 18 and older must serve their mandatory military service unless they have a valid reason for exemption. As of February 2023, the country had some 500,000 active-duty service members. After completing their service, South Korean men are required to participate in an annual field training program as reservists for about eight years.  
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