Upcoming exhibition: Eurosatory, Paris, 17-21st June 2024

Vegvisir System Live Demo with the Croatian Ministry of Defence & ASDA 2023

May 2023 has been an eventful start of the month for the Vegvisir team. We are happy to announce that in addition to exhibiting our live mixed reality situational awareness system at ASDA 2023, Zadar, we also conducted a live product demo in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense Croatia and Guards Mechanized Brigade, 1st Mechanized Battalion "Tigers".

The Adriatic Sea Defense and Aerospace (ASDA) Exhibition, Zadar, Croatia

The ASDA exhibition was the next major place where we showcased the Vegvisir Mixed Reality Situational Awareness system in live, after IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi. The exhibition combined companies from 29 countries and Vegvisir was presented in a joint stand with the Estonian intelligence software startup SensusQ and Orqa FPV from Croatia. This collaboration made for an impressive display, effectively demonstrating the synergy between the companies and the cutting-edge technologies.

Ingvar Pärnamäe and Siim Saliste from Vegvisir introduced the current product prototype, recent developments and results from our field tests so far. We were happy to host the Minister of Defense Croatia, Mario Banožić, in our stand and introduce the Vegvisir Mixed Reality Situational Awareness System. The cooperation with the Ministry of Defense Croatia has proven the interest for the Vegvisir system and is a great example of the focus on our end-user. The feedback from end-users and various industry experts during the exhibition confirmed that we are on the right track on the path of enhancing situational awareness. 

Defence Minister of Croatia Mario Banožić visiting the Vegvisir, SensusQ and Orqa joint stand.

From Exhibition to Real Armoured Vehicles and Driving: Field Test with the Ministry of Defense Croatia

Our team’s visit to Croatia continued with the Vegvisir system field test in cooperation with the Croatian Ministry of Defense. The introduction and demonstration of the system commenced at the Petrinja military barracks and the surrounding grounds. This was made possible with the support of the Guards Mechanized Brigade of the Croatian Army, 1st Mechanized Battalion "Tigers".

The field test of Vegvisir’s integration with the Patria AMV 8x8 was a subsequent step following the previous tests conducted with the Estonian Defense Forces, which involved the armored personnel carrier Patria XA-188 6x6, Patria XA-180 6x6 and the infantry fighting vehicle CV-9035. This follows our platform agnostic approach which allows the situational awareness system to be installed on various platforms. In total, we have done integrations with 4 different armoured vehicles. 

This time the testing ground was the close training area around the Guards Mechanized Brigade, 1st Mechanized Battalion "Tigers" near Petrinja. Day one was marked by pouring rain, while day two brought warm sunlight. No raining, no training, as it is said.

We conducted testing on gravel roads that were in such rough condition that they were not suitable for civilian vehicles. In total, we drove approximately 12 hours in off-road conditions at speeds up to 60km/h. Part of the testing focused on giving the driver and the commander hands-on experience with the Vegvisir Mixed Reality Situational Awareness System. During the second part of testing, unit commanders from various tank and mechanized units had the opportunity to try the system. Altogether, around 30 people were able to use the system and provide valuable feedback to our team.

Vegvisir integrated to Patria AMV 8x8
Vegvisir integrated to Patria AMV 8x8

End-User Focus in Feedback and Development

The development of the Vegvisir situational awareness system relies heavily on the end-user feedback. We were happy to see a large delegation of representatives from the Croatian Ministry of Defense and Croatian Army. Quoting the press release from the Ministry of Defense Croatia: 

“In addition to representatives of the company and the organizational units of the HKoV, the demonstration was attended by the Minister of Defense Mario Banožić and his colleagues, as well as the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the People's Republic of Croatia, LtGen Siniša Jurković, Commander of the Croatian Army, LtGen Boris Šerić, company representatives and others.”

Members of the mechanized units saw substantial potential for the commander, and tank unit members expressed a desire to use the system themselves. The overwhelmingly positive feedback could be exemplified by one tank unit commander who, after a test drive, simply said, "It is perfect!" The open atmosphere and positive spirit of the event allowed our team to gather good ideas for additional system features and requirements during discussions with the commanders. This is how we approach every development: taking insights from soldiers and delivering them to our engineers.

Siim Saliste and Raido Saremat from Vegvisir conducting a feedback session with the end-users.
Happiness is a very common impression among our first time test subjects.
Defence Minister of Croatia Mario Banožić visiting the Vegvisir demonstration

In Conclusion

As we conclude an eventful start of May 2023, the Vegvisir team marks a significant presence at ASDA and successful field tests with the Croatian Ministry of Defense. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from the end-users and the successful integration of our system into various platforms has not only reaffirmed the potential of our technology but also inspired us to continue enhancing our Mixed Reality Situational Awareness System. Guided by our end-user feedback and a commitment to innovation, we look forward to continually enhancing situational awareness for armored vehicle crews in the modern battlefield.