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ITEC 2017: Festo Didactic delivers to Royal Navy

18th May 2017 - 12:01 by Trevor Nash in Rotterdam

ITEC 2017: Festo Didactic delivers to Royal Navy

There has been much debate of recent years about the use of virtual versus live training. Observers tend to relate this to flight simulation but the argument percolates through the complete spectrum of military training.

In January, the UK Royal Navy selected German company Festo Didactic to supply radar training equipment as part of its Faraday Project, a programme designed to enhance radar training from basic principles to type specific systems such as those found on the Type 45 destroyer.

‘The Faraday Project is a massive undertaking by the Royal Navy and the first equipment has now been delivered to HMS Collingwood in Fareham,’ Festo Didactic’s UK director Doug Simpson told Shephard

‘Training for this first tranche of equipment is now underway and we’re expecting further orders in the coming months.’

Unlike simulated radar trainers, the Festo Didactic range of equipment uses real processes featuring antennae, transmitters, receivers and processing so that students become intimately acquainted with the technologies that they will encounter when using the real equipment at sea.

Festo, Festo Didactic’s holding company, is 50 years old and specialises in industrial automation. In 2014, the company bought LabVolt which had for many years specialised in the provision of live radar training technology.

‘We bought LabVolt for a number of reasons,’ Jose Antonio Gonzalez, the company’s head of business development for learning systems explained to Shephard

‘As well as increasing the size of our overall global footprint, it allowed us to introduce a number of innovative radar training products into Europe from North America.

‘Today we are able to offer turnkey training solutions that feature our live radar training equipment, manuals and eLearning,’ Gonzalez concluded.

‘Our radar training equipment is still manufactured in the former LabVolt factory in Quebec and so we still draw on that expertise,’ said Tomy Rodrigue, head of global products. ‘Our major offering presented at the show is our radar training system.

‘Our approach bases learning on real-life scenarios and equipment and we believe that students can relate to this much better than purely computer-based synthetic training methodologies.’ 

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