At this year’s KADEX 2018 held in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Kazakh state-owned GIS Center had a virtual reality headset that is designed to work with a Kalashnikov-patterned service rifle. The headset portion integrates (and likely licenses) software from a Russian entity called VR Concept, which produces VR solutions for a wide variety of applications.
The device was covered by a Kazakh reporter of Astana TV in this segment on the defense exhibition. It appears that the reporter was able to maneuver a defensive position through the headset, whatever his field of view was on a public television screen.
From a cursory look at their website, GIS Center appears to be a mostly information technology-based company, creating integrated system solutions for the Kazakh Armed Forces. The attempt to create a VR headset for infantry troops to use during training appears to be a sidetrack that is not the main focus of the company. Due to the lack of media coverage of the Central Asian Republics, we don’t know how long this VR headset has actually been out.
There is an attachment mounted to the gas block of the rifle, presumably, this is calibrated with the VR headset and allows the positioning of the weapon in the training scenario. The rifle appears to be a 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov Concern AK103. Currently, the Kazakh Armed Forces use a mixture of original and upgraded 5.45x39mm AK74s.
During the video, the reporter is seen shooting the rifle with tangible recoil. It appears that the rifle is using some sort of compressed air cylinder that is placed inside the magazine, a very common practice with many VR/simulated recoil weapon systems. Although this doesn’t require a hose to link up to it, this does mean that the magazine/magazines might have to be recharged with compressed air often.
Much Thanks to Hrachya for the Russian translation!