The UK's armed forces are introducing virtual training systems using video and computer-generated imagery to improve their weapons skills.
The Defence Procurement Agency has signed a £13m contract to purchase 99 systems that will allow troops to train by firing at simulated targets on a large video screen, with their accuracy calculated by laser pointers in the weapons.
The system is based on a model used by the US Marine Corps that measures function such as butt and trigger pressure, and the angle of the weapon, to give soldiers detailed feedback on their shooting.
"These state-of-the-art simulators are the best trainers of their type anywhere in the world and will be used to complement the extensive range of live training that our ground troops already undergo," said defence procurement minister Lord Bach.
"Training staff can call up a range of combat scenarios to help train our troops to reach extremely high standards across a wide range of battlefield skills before they go onto live training."
The dismounted close combat trainers system allows troops to improve their technique before progressing to live training. It provides three primary training modes, including range practice, video-based judgmental training, and CGI-based training.
Skills that can be taught using the system include directing indirect fire (such as mortars and artillery), battlefield recognition and judgmental training, with action replays showing soldiers how they performed.
Of the 99 systems 54 have already been deployed, with the remainder expected to be in place by May 2005.
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