A state-of-the art warfare training facility is being unveiled at Devonport Naval Base. It will ensure the next generation of Royal Navy sailors are among the best prepared in the world.
Representing the most radical change to its training for over 40 years, the Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS) provides shore-based training for Warfare teams. It allows crews to prepare for service on the latest Type 45 Destroyers, as well as Type 23 frigates, Type 42 Destroyers, Assault ships and Carriers.
Based across two sites at Plymouth and Fareham in Hampshire, the MCTS features banks of flat panel LCD screens faithfully replicating equipment used at sea. The system will be used by around 1,000 new trainees a year and will allow existing personnel to maintain their warfare skills.
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.”
MCTS was procured by the Training, Stores and Boats team at the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support organisation and replaces earlier training facilities.
The two MCTS sites are nearly 200 miles apart but are connected by a fibre optic link. At Devonport, there are two reconfigurable Warfare Team Trainers (WTT) and an Electronic Classroom Trainer (ECT) with a similar facility at HMS Collingwood.
Commodore Tim Lowe, from the Royal Navy’s Maritime Warfare School, said:
“Today, with Maritime Composite Training System, we have moved to the next stage, some would call it a training revolution and in our training delivery we now have the ability to train, deliver and employ maritime effect in a far better and a far more effective way than we have ever done before.”