The US Navy has introduced a new multipurpose reconfigurable training system (MRTS) 3D device, at its submarine training sites.
The MRTS 3D is a PC-based system with 30-inch single-touch and 55-inch multi-touch liquid crystal display screens. The system simulates tactical equipment for weapons, machinery, and communications training.
Introduced as part of the navy's efforts to switch to touchscreen training technology, the MRTS 3D device will be used as an affordable, virtual alternative to costly hardware training systems.
Approximately 14 MRTS devices have been put in place at all seven navy submarine training sites by the Undersea Program Directorate at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD).
NAWCTSD undersea programmes directorate deputy director Dave Williams said: "The MRTS 3D system takes advantage of the fact that every sailor coming into the navy knows how to use a touch-screen tablet and has probably used a first-person perspective video game.
"We simulate a shipboard or flight-line environment in a virtual world and allow the sailor to interact with the simulated tactical equipment."
Naval Aviation Training Systems Program Office (PMA-205) programme manager captain Craig Dorrans said: "The cutting-edge MRTS is a versatile training system that's affordable to our fleet.
"For instance, a MRTS common submarine radio room (CSRR) software programme costs the fleet $7m. Compared to a cost of $22m for tactical equipment offering the same training, that's a savings of $15m."
The NAWCTSD will use the MRTS 3D to train sailors to operate and maintain electronics and mechanical systems of submarines.
The MRTS technology is also expected to be implemented in Aviation Support Equipment operations pipeline courses. The technology helps lower costs for the navy as it integrates multiple software-based trainers to a single hardware suite.
The PMA-205 is planning to showcase MRTS by the end of this year, offering forces training systems suitable for a range of aircraft.
Image: The multipurpose reconfigurable training system (MRTS) 3D being used by military personnel. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.