Meggitt’s R&D for the military benefits law enforcement: The FATS® 100LE virtual training system
How can law enforcement advance training within its limited budgetary resources? Meggitt Training Systems has found a way to meet this challenge through an exciting dual use of technology: Adapting its acclaimed FATS© 100MIL virtual training system into the FATS© 100LE, the most advanced and affordable system to serve law enforcement officers.
Meggitt has invested millions of dollars in research and development to create the world’s best small-arms training system for militaries around the world. We met all requirements set forth by the U.S. Army to deliver the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) II system to active, National Guard and reserve units worldwide. We were officially named the Program of Record for EST II, receiving certification in August 2016.
As a result, we produced the FATS 100LE, a landmark system available to law enforcement. Harnessing these innovations, Meggitt Training Systems delivers a “revolutionary” (versus an incrementally improved) system that fits the bill in four principal ways:
Immersive realism: Cutting edge 3D marksmanship training environment. With visually realistic and highly detailed terrains and targets, the fidelity and target detail readily supports target detection, recognition and identification requirements. Photorealistic 3D terrains combine with 3D targets (including “paper” targets). You even have natural 3D occultation, in which objects or persons can be hidden from view and then confront the shooter. High-fidelity environmental effects provide that aura of real life, in which random happenings can distract. The targets remain in correct perspective for each lane with up to five marksmanship trainees at a time. Finally, as a trainer, you can create custom courses of fire to mimic qualification courses and drills.
The key question for any virtual training is “How comprehensive is the realism?” A truly “immersive platform” by definition mirrors actual circumstances as accurately as possible. The FATS 100LE delivers solid weapon handling and shot placement analytics, and enhanced graphic capabilities for an all-encompassing immersive training platform. This impressive array of functionality crosses over to the 3D marksmanship training environment,
And, as you will see, the after-action review further allows engagement and shot assessment in this 3D virtual environment, while providing detailed trainee diagnostics for skill reinforcement as well as correction.
Diagnostics: Feedback at the firing line with automatic coaching. Meggitt’s Automatic Coaching leverages the enhanced 3D Marksmanship, Meggitt’s BlueFire® weapon simulator diagnostics, and wireless tablet technology to provide training feedback at the firing line. That means instructors can now stand next to the trainees and show exact shot placement, improper weapon handling and weapon trace. They can demonstrate correct behavior in real time.
In addition, Automatic Coaching creates a flexible training environment by putting instructional tools in the hands of the instructor for ready presentation to the trainee. Automatic Coaching tracks the weapon sensor information: how the trainee manipulates the trigger, how much pressure is applied to the buttstock, how the weapon is canted along with shot analysis that reinforces the fundamentals of shooting for the trainee.
Based on detailed shot analysis, automatic assessment flags questionable results (immediately available on an individual tablet for trainee reference), allowing the instructor to quickly identify and correct fundamental marksmanship errors with coaching techniques.
Judgmental training: use of force and officer safety. The issue of officer judgment continues to be on the training radar in 2020 and for years to come. Use-of-force options and officer safety must be primary concerns of any training system. The FATS 100LE judgmental training expands the understanding of shoot/don’t shoot situations and the corresponding de-escalation of force decision-making process. The system effectively reinforces judgmental training objectives, concealed carry, less lethal and general weapons familiarization skills. An optional single-screen configuration includes a variety of video training modes to provide a multi-tiered program.
For safety, the system provides the most innovative tools on the market to prepare officers for split-second decisions. Instinctive officer response based on true-to-life training is critical for effective reactions in the field. With the FATS 100LE, instructors have the opportunity to train students on proper use of the full repertoire of responses to a dangerous situation: verbal commands, control tactics, impact strikes, chemical tools, less lethal options and deadly force.Branching increases the realism of a scenario. For example, a “near miss” will dictate consequences, to which the officer must respond. Instructors can then debrief the trainee on what might have been more optimal actions or reinforce the resilience in regaining control of the situation.
The simulations cover constitutional issues and recent court decisions plus use-of-force policy. It vividly reinforces the officers’ classroom education and practical exercises. Simulation allows the instructor to repeat training exercises in a low-cost, time-efficient manner, while replay and look-back functions provide an additional debriefing benefit.
Capacity and logistics: Through-put for multiple trainees. Since Meggitt Training Systems developed this technology for armed forces, training productivity and concurrent exercises were major requirements. Presenting a similar system for law enforcement, we have been mindful of the costs, from design through installation.
The FATS 100LE is designed for assignments of up to16 weapons, allowing trainees to select the appropriate use tactics in judgmental mode. The system can also handle five trainees at a time for marksmanship and is networkable for up to three systems for 15 lanes of marksmanship training across three 16×9 screens.
In addition to Meggitt’s BlueFire wireless weapons, the system can cost-effectively accommodate an agency’s legacy weapons. You can import customer-specific training manuals (PDF, MS Word/ PowerPoint, .mpg, .wmv), and generate system utilization reports for data mining, including time spent in training mode, weapon type, etc. In fact, training materials can be viewed simultaneously on the tablet and main screen(s). Trainers can run any of the applications from their tablet. Meggitt includes on-site installation and system training for up to five trainees.
To arrange a demonstration of the advanced FATS 100LE virtual trainer, please visit by clicking here.
Are you protecting yourself, your employees and your customers from lead exposure?
For years, many shooting ranges were not aware of the concerns about excessive exposure to lead. After multiple studies and testing, lead problems are now identifiable and easier to combat. Lead can be a silent killer. It builds up in your body’s organs and bones, causing permanent, irreversible damage to your body. In most cases, it is not the shooters that are at risk, but rather the employees that are exposed day-in and day-out to excess levels of lead in a range facility. Proper range ventilation system are necessary. The biggest dangers of lead exposure are to the people handling the lead cleanup or general range cleanup and maintenance duties.
Whether your range operation is a private, commercial, law enforcement or military type facility, your employees are covered under various laws and regulations that dictate how you need to handle lead-related safety measures. It is not acceptable to just supply a cleanup suit and protection mask for the person that cleans up lead materials from the range. You are required to keep records of tests (air quality and personnel blood/lead levels), provide training sessions, ensure the proper air supply mask fits correctly, and document the amount and disposition of the lead generated and recovered from the range. Some lead is recyclable (from commercial bullet traps and indoor range cleanups), while other lead contaminates are not [from sand berms, filters, air and water], contaminated ranges, etc. All lead must be quantified and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. But what steps do you need to take?
What do I do next? Guidelines for the Range Operator.
- Under NIOSH, OSHA and EPA standards, lead is classified as a highly toxic heavy metal.
- Develop air quality records to monitor the safety of your range.
- Conduct lead safety training programs for your team.
- Teach employees the proper way to handle lead and what to do with the collected lead.
- Create training records as proof you’re providing a safe working environment for your employees.
- Offer the proper safety equipment, supplies and direction on how to use these items.
- Provide a changing area and shower facility to allow your employees to thoroughly wash after exposure.
Additional References Available Online
To safely operate your range, you should check with local authorities and government agencies to ensure you are up-to-date on current regulations for your area. Additional range design resources are available, and a few areas to explore include:
- CDC – Indoor Firing Ranges
- Firing Range – Whole Building Design Guide
- NRA Shooting Range Services
DID YOU KNOW
- If shooters are allowed to advance downrange beyond the primary firing line, Combat Walls should be installed for the side-walls of the range. Using the proven design of air-space baffles, a misdirected round impacting the Combat Wall will be safely contained or redirected towards the bullet trap.
- The walls, ceiling, and floor surfaces within twenty feet of the bullet trap receive most misdirected shots and should not receive acoustical treatment due to the high frequency of repair that would be required. Any surface downrange of the firing line that does receive acoustical material should have an air-space between the hard and soft surfaces, even if it’s just the thickness of furring strips.
Q. I’m building a gun range but don’t know what type of material to use for the floor. Any suggestions?
A. The most suitable type of flooring for the range is a smooth, non-absorptive hardened concrete floor from the firing line to the bullet trap. The floor will take a lot of low shots, so a smooth floor results in less erratic ricochets. The firing line and the area behind it are typically covered with vinyl or rubber flooring. Due to environmental considerations, floor drains require filtering systems to collect range contaminates. These systems are typically expensive, so the vast majority of range planners today exclude floor drains and sloped floors from their design.
Q. What is the industry standard for the length of a gun range?
A. The majority of indoor shooting activities can be conducted on a range that provides 50 or 75 feet between the firing line and the target line. For law enforcement/security training, a 75-foot range is typically mandatory and may extend to 150-feet for longer target distance applications.
AUSA 2020October 12 - 14
Walter E. Washington Convention CenterWashington D.C. Booth #1425
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IACP 2020October 17 - 20
New Orleans Morial Convention CenterNew Orleans, LA Booth #3155
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I/ITSEC 2020Nov 30 - Dec 4
Orange County Convention CenterOrlando, FL Booth #1421
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This newsletter covers just a few of the ways that Meggitt’s virtual and live-fire products are improving training for defense forces, law enforcement agencies and commercial gun ranges around the world. In upcoming newsletters, we’ll introduce you to new technologies and products. For more information, contact MGTTS-LESales@meggitt.com.
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