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For years videogames have sought to recreate the horror of warzones around the world in as much detail as possible in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Now it looks like the people who have been playing those games may soon be recruited as the soldiers of the future.
According to Kevin Connell, a vice president at General Dynamics, the global defence firm which is developing the futuristic Scout SV smart-tank, people who play a lot of videogames like Call of Duty have the ideal skill-set to control the weapons of the future:
"With the capability in the Scout SV, we're really looking for the type of people who play Xbox games – tech-savvy people who are able to take in a lot of information and process it in the proper way," he said.
Armoured fighting vehicle
The UK branch General Dynamics is working on the futuristic smart-tank to replace the British Army's ageing armoured vehicle fleet, such as the Warrior, with the Scout SV set to be delivered to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2020.
The Scout SV is the first fully-digitised armoured fighting vehicle to have been built for the British Army, and is far bigger and more durable than any of its existing tanks, which are now at least 20 years old.
The tank comes in six variants that can be customised with tools for different missions, and has numerous sensors, cameras, and sights to offer real-time intelligence on weather conditions, target acquisition, and reconnaissance - all crucial battlefield data required by commanders to access and direct situations.
"If you think about a network on the battlefield - today's vehicles are pretty much single vehicles operating in an analogue fashion. With Scout SV, each one of these vehicles is a node on a digital battlefield," Connell told IBTimes UK.
"So you can now collect data from a number of assets, send it to a command and control vehicle for a decision, prosecute a target, send it to an airborne asset, and that will drive how the army trains and fights going forward."
Tank of the future
According to Connell, the British Army wanted to add new capabilities to their tanks, but this was difficult to do due to closed proprietary software systems, as well as lack of space and power for new features, plus weight concerns.
General Dynamics asked the British Army what they needed to have in their new tank, and the Scout SV is a culmination of 1,200 requirements that were important to the Army, that have been built into the tank since the MoD awarded the contract to the firm in 2010.
In order to fulfil the varied demands of the British Army, General Dynamics has worked with big firms such as Lockheed Martin and General Electric, as well as numerous start-ups.
Easier to fire
Some of the innovative inventions inside the tank include a new turret, an extendable antenna inside a collapsible tube, and a new type of ammunition called "Cased Telescopic Ammunition" which is shaped like a can and is much easier to fire.
What makes the tank unique is that in addition to being far roomier inside - the tank can carry six men each up to 6'6" (198cm) tall and weighing up to 16 stone (101kg, 224 pounds) - the tank's systems are built on an open architecture that enables new weapons, features, and sights to be easily programmed and added to the tank.
There is also leeway to add an extra 2-4 tonnes of weight onto the vehicle, which General Dynamics says will make the Scout SV last as an ongoing army asset for the next 30 years.
The firm plans to sell its new tank overseas as well, but the armoured vehicles will have to be customised to the customer country's own defence operating system, weapons and needs.
The Scout SV should be ready for British soldiers to train with by 2018 and will be rolled out across the armed forces in 2020.