£108m Navy Training System Unveiled

A new £108 million state-of-the-art facility to train sailors in the skills they will need to take the Royal Navy's latest warships into battlezones has been unveiled.

The Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS) is made up of banks of LCD screens replicating the equipment used at sea.

About 1,000 trainee sailors a year will use the facility to prepare for service on the high-tech Type 45 destroyers as well as the more established Type 23 frigates, Type 42 destroyers and other assault ships and carriers.

The MCTS is split across two training sites, at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire, and at Devonport in Plymouth, Devon, with the two centres connected by a fibre-optic link.

Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, said:

''This new £108 million training system represents a ground-breaking move for the Royal Navy that will enhance its training capability for the future.

''It will enable personnel to train to the highest standard, utilising the latest technological developments.

''With this system, the UK's sailors will be some of the best-prepared in the world, ready to take on the challenges of the future.''

Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray, added:

''This state-of-the-art system will greatly increase the effectiveness of surface ship warfare training.

''It represents the MoD's commitment to delivering the best equipment for training and simulation required by the modern Royal Navy.

''With its ability to replicate all the current Destroyers, Frigates and Capital ships in the Fleet, the Maritime Composite Training System provides great flexibility.''