Microsoft has scored another major government contract to produce augmented reality devices for the US Army. The US Army announced Wednesday that it had awarded Microsoft a contract to produce augmented reality systems designed to help soldiers “fight, rehearse and train using a single platform”CNN reports.
The deal has a five-year base and a five-year option to extend and could be worth up to almost $21.9 billion over the full 10 years. The Army’s initial objective is to provide systems for its entire Close Combat Force (CCF), which will mean making more than 120,000 devices, Microsoft said.
The contract is a continuation of existing work on Microsoft’s devices for the US Army. In 2018, the tech giant was awarded a $479 million contract to create prototypes of the devices, and the new agreement announced Wednesday would take them into production and the field.
“We appreciate the partnership with the U.S. Army and are thankful for their continued trust in transitioning IVAS from rapid prototyping to rapid fielding,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “We look forward to building on this successful partnership with the men and women of the U.S. Army Close Combat Force.”
In 2019, Microsoft was granted a $10 billion contract to supply cloud services to the Department of Defense (though its rival, Amazon (AMZN), is still waging a legal contest against that decision).
Microsoft has faced some criticism from employees related to its work on the HoloLens project for the Army. Still, CEO Satya Nadella defended it, saying the company would not “withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy.”