ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Blue Halo won an $80 million contract to construct a virtual simulation for the Air Force Research Laboratory This will create simulated wargames for the Department of Defense.

“The virtual range is going to be a full-on digital environment that will allow us to do a much broader spectrum than the narrow focuses of our directed energy utility concept events. This will help in that respect. It will bring more people in and work with more concepts at a time,” said Chris Hurlbert, Computer Engineer with Air Force Research Laboratory.

The concept allows warfighters to sit in a simulated cockpit with virtual goggles and fly an F-15. “This will allow them to get familiarity with these concepts as well as find out how they will be utilizing them, help develop their concepts of operations, concepts of employment, and then find out where we are still missing capabilities,” said Hurlbert.

All of the weapons in the simulation will be dedicated to directed energy weapons which are devices that use sound beams and microwaves. This can range from high-energy lasers to high-powered electromagnetic devices.

This will provide AFRL with important tools needed to serve warfighters. They say this effort will minimize costs and has less risk to equipment and personnel. It will also allow tests to bring these weapons into the real world.

“There’s a lot of stuff that we still need to continue to do but just excited that this contract was finally awarded and we’re ready to just press forward with our services and make it good for our warfighters,” said Michelle Perea, Program Manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The AFRL says they are excited to work with Blue Halo because it will be easier knowing they have a local office. Blue Halo provides capabilities like missile defense and cyber intelligence. The contract is 10 years long and the funding comes from the Air Force Research Laboratory for research and development.