Synthetic training environments. Virtual reality simulations. Digital learning tools. It is clear that the future of navy training will be built on the integration of new and emerging technologies.
That is where the Royal Navy’s Future Training Unit, or FTU, comes into play. Based at HMS Collingwood, the FTU is the Navy’s centre for the development of training courses for the latest platforms, such as the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.
It was originally created as the Type 45 Training Unit, when it was recognised that there were a number of benefits associated with a shift away from whole-scale dependency on GFE hardware in the training environment, and the move was made towards more synthetic-based training solutions.
Since that time, and as more new capabilities came in, the FTU has evolved to become the maritime lead unit for future courseware development capabilities. It develops high quality and effective, instructor-led computer-aided instruction material. The FTU also conducts training and learning design activities and the 2D, 3D, interactive and virtual reality media development required to develop new-to-service courses. It will also be the first point of contact for all New Capabilities Projects requiring courseware development and integration into existing training.
Raytheon UK takes over the management of the FTU on Oct. 1, 2021, and 38 members of staff will transfer over as part of the move; overseen by a team of Royal Navy personnel who provide both the on-hand subject matter expertise and manage the quality of the output.
This is the latest transition milestone for the Raytheon UK team as part of the Team Fisher consortium, led by Capita, that is transforming and modernising training for the Royal Navy.
“The Future Training Unit plays a crucial role in developing training to meet the operational capabilities of the future,” said Roger Foster, Selborne programme manager for Raytheon UK. “We are delighted to be involved in the development of the FTU, ensuring that it continues to exploit the very best in emerging technology and develop the next generation of Royal Navy personnel with the latest tools and technologies.”
As part of their management of the FTU, Raytheon UK will also be responsible for providing advice and consultancy on emerging synthetic training solutions across the Royal Navy domain, accelerating the use of new technologies, processes and learning solutions. This includes the evaluation, design and development of technology enhanced learning solutions and other media developments, aligning with the Royal Navy's transformation agenda and positioning it to thrive in the 21st century
Work to ensure a smooth delivery has already begun, according to Foster, with roadshows for staff planned and first newsletter already issued, all to help inform what may change and what to expect.
“Modernisation isn’t only about the use of new technologies, however appealing. It encompasses what is taught, when it’s taught and how it’s taught to maximise the learner experience,” said Foster. “We are at the start of a long but equally exciting journey with our management of the FTU, and we look forward to building on the momentum that is already taking place to transform the delivery of Royal Navy training.”