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Army Microsoft Combat Goggle Test ‘Adequate,’ Pentagon Says

Army Microsoft Combat Goggle Test ‘Adequate,’ Pentagon Says

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 Three weeks of tests were enough to determine if Microsoft Corp.’s new combat goggle will be more effective than the model it’s intended to replace, and senior leaders will get early results by the end of the month, the Pentagon said.

The testing that ended June 18 was “adequate to support an assessment of operational effectiveness, user acceptance, suitability, and cyber and electronic warfare vulnerabilities” of the goggles, Jessica Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Penta gon’s test office, said in a statement. 

The test office expects to give Army leadership preliminary results by the end of August, with a final report going to Congress in October, Maxwell said. Microsoft won’t be given access to the draft report for comment, she said. 

Maxwell said the Army has directed the test office designate the report “Controlled Unclassified Information” which limits its distribution. Both the Senate Armed Services Committee and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee have questioned the Pentagon and military services’ widespread use of the CUI label.

“We did a good test and will learn from it,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for acquisition Doug Bush said in a statement. “This is what doing innovative technology at speed looks like. There will be bumps in the road.”

“The Army is using all the flexibilities provided by Congress to do this program in a rapid and innovative manner, which is what the Army has been criticized in the past for not doing,” Bush said. “The Army remains confident that the program will succeed.”

The Army projects spending up to $21.9 billion over a decade on Microsoft’s combat goggles, spare parts and support services if all options are exercised. The test report will help Congress decide whether to approve the $424.2 million the Army proposed to spend on the program for the fiscal year starting October. The House and Senate appropriations panels have proposed deep cuts to the Army’s request pending the results.

The goggles will allow commanders to project information onto a soldier’s visor and incorporate features such as night vision. 

A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.