SAILORS can now fire machine guns, canons and ship-mounted weapons at a new simulator in Fareham.
The training facility was officially opened by the Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel.
He got hands-on at the Royal Navy’s HMS Collingwood.
He had a chance to shoot one of the gun simulators and got to shoot a fast inshore attack craft as part of a simulation.
The new training section has a 3D virtual environment with ship-mounted weapons and moving platforms that completely immerse the operator into realistic situations.
Weapons included in the program include machine guns, mini-guns and canons.
All the weapons can be used individually or operated at the same time in a team scenario.
Designed and delivered by QinetiQ, the facility replaces an older system. It took the firm a year to design and build.
The opening was Vice Admiral Steel’s first official act since becoming Second Sea Lord – one of the most senior admirals of the navy.
Vice Admiral Steel was promoted from Rear Secretary to Vice Admiral and Second Sea Lord in October. He succeeded Sir Charles Montgomery.
Vice Admiral Steel said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to open the training facility, to all of you who have made this possible thank you.’
The Admiral also met three members of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary – PC Kenny Noble, Sergeant Rob Arnold and PC Geoff Norris.
The Civil Nuclear Constabulary are in training for use on their marine escort operations at the Maritime Warfare School.
The simulator will be used by the Royal Navy.
HMS Collingwood is the largest naval training organisation in Western Europe.