Office of Naval Research
To improve the ability to detect and defeat adversary radars and anti-ship missiles, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) partnered with the MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and games experts Metateq and PipeWorks Studios to develop Strike Group Defender (SGD), a multiplayer training program.
The virtual environment tests and evaluates personnel in surface electronic warfare. The game exposes Navy planners, tacticians, and operators to different missiles and the best ways to counter them, either through electronic means (soft kill) or with traditional firepower (hard kill). SGD is cloud-deployable and accessed through an Internet browser. No special hardware is required.
The experience begins with a screen depicting incoming threats. In one example, a warning states a missile is 20 seconds from impact. The “missile matrix” gives users a rundown of several missiles, their locations, and how best to defeat them. The game then offers specific recommendations, such as using decoy flares to distract an infrared-tracking missile that is not susceptible to radar jamming. After a session, the game shows users the missiles that both hit and missed.
Operators can choose to play in a variety of modes including 1 vs. AI, 1 vs. 1 (asynchronous), 1 vs. 1 (live), and Force vs. Force (live multi-player). The highest scores are awarded to players that achieve the best results with the least amount of resources. Pre-built scenarios take new players through basic actions, and several “capstone” scenarios further test their skills. Additionally, all scenarios are recorded, making every new case available to the user community.
Threats are preprogrammed for the tutorials and test scenarios but include some randomization. Once players are in the free play mode, and particularly live play modes, the threats are determined by the opposing force, making them purely random and unpredictable.
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