Meggitt Training Systems has taken the opportunity of ITEC2016, taking place at ExCeL in London this week, to launch the FATS100e simulation training system on the European market – seeking new European customers for this latest and considerably expanded version of the company’s celebrated firearms training solution.
Introducing new features such as advanced game engine 3D marksmanship, enhanced diagnostics with intelligent Automatic Coaching and collective training capabilities centred around a VBS3 integration capacity, the system takes full advantage of the open architecture of the underlying FATS M100 system.
“The Marksmanship Training environment represents a significant step forward in training capability,” Winn Hines, Meggitt’s director of virtual system sales told MT at the show. He pointed out that both instructor and student now benefit from visually realistic and highly detailed terrains and targets – with the ability to craft fresh scenarios or adapt existing ones in short order – and that he effects of weather, visibility conditions and even wind-blown environments are easily incorporatd and can be used to further immerse trainees in an environment that, although synthetic, has a degree of engagement that provides for much faster and longer lasting learning achievement.
Hosted on a laptop or tablet in Windows 10 and fully exploiting the company’s patented ‘Bluefire’ Bluetooth developments, FATS100e is a direct result of an extensive exercise in customer engagement in recent years. “We listened closely to what existing and potential customers had to say and it was clear there were three main priorities: they wanted automatic coaching, they wanted enhanced graphics and they wanted tethered weapons,” says Hines. “So that’s what we gave them.”
A significant part of the FATS heritage lies in Meggitt’s success in the law enforcement firearms training sector and lessons learned there have been transferred and transformed for applications to military training requirements throughout the product line’s history. One particular facet of this has been the use of the synthetic environment to radically increase the first time pass rate on the range for recruits and trainees new to modern automatic weapons. “Using the system to demonstrate to trainees that recoil is not the exaggerated process they imagine from watching too much television helps to overcome some preconceived notions quite quickly,” says Hines, adding that FATS100e helps immeasurably in the task of inoculating trainees from the stress they will later encounter in a hostile environment.
And it is worth pointing out that the system is not just limited to squad level weapons. FATS100e caters for crew served weapons such as mortars (an example of which featured on the QuantaDyn booth at the exhibition), automatic grenade launchers and .50 calibre machine guns – all of which can be utilised in an untethered format within the system. Replicating the authentic characteristics of the ‘live’ weapons, the delivery of training effect can be tailored to cater for individual learning styles as well as delivering a collective training effect for teams – the system can be expanded horizontally to provide up to forty feet of firing line.
“We are the only provider of a full range of weapons in an untethered operational mode,” says Hines, adding that the new system provides the additional capacity for more doctrinal training that has been a common theme among requests from both existing and potential customers.
Tim Mahon, ITEC