Virtual reality (VR) technology has matured during the past few years to a degree where real industrial applications have become feasible. The work described in this paper involves collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and BAE Systems and aimed to establish the feasibility of using augmented VR to support complex information delivery in high precision defence assembly. Laboratory and field studies were conducted which investigated performance when using augmented VR as compared to conventional methods of information delivery. The results show that augmented VR is comparable to conventional methods of information delivery in terms of latencies and errors but allows less disruption to work and greater mobility. There appear to be no adverse affects on operators from using VR and generally operators are positive towards using VR technology. The feasibility of supporting augmented VR with wearable technology is also demonstrated. The overall results are discussed in terms of further application of VR in industrial settings. © Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005.