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The Royal Navy has unveiled what it is calling ``the most radical change to its training'' in four decades, including computer technology which will allow sailors to prepare for warfare without going to sea.
The new £108 million Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS) was launched today (6th December) at two bases in Devon and Hampshire, allowing warfare teams to prepare to serve on a range of surface vessels from destroyers to aircraft carriers.
The "replica operations room" features banks of flat panel LCD screens replicating equipment used at sea.
The Ministry of Defence said the system will be used by around 1,000 trainees every year and will allow existing personnel to maintain their warfare skills.
Peter Luff, the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, described the facilities as "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," he added.
Rear Admiral Clive Johnstone, the Navy's head of training, opened the new facilities on Tuesday 6th December 2011.
The two MCTS sites are nearly 200 miles apart, at HMNB Devonport in Plymouth and HMS Collingwood near Fareham, but are connected by computer link.
At Devonport, there are two Warfare Team Trainers (WTT) and an Electronic Classroom Trainer (ECT) with a similar facility at HMS Collingwood.
They allow crews to prepare for service on the latest Type 45 Destroyers, as well as Type 23 frigates, Type 42 Destroyers, assault ships and carriers.