Virtual Trainers have been incorporated into Military, Law Enforcement, and Competitive circles for a number of years now and have been used very widely in that regard. If used correctly, they can be very beneficial to shooters in giving feedback over where their rounds are going during a course of fire. As realistic as they get, they tend to be very limited by the very technology they are encumbered to. However Meggit Training Systems is pushing the envelope by combining their virtual training systems with a live fire portion wherein a rubber screen has images projected on it and uses audio signals to pinpoint the location of rounds that hit it. The rubber portion is self-sealing (and assumedly must be replaced after a certain round count) while the company is selling a separate bullet trap that can be used with the system as well. The Live Fire screen is currently being delivered to Canadian forces. One of the differences with the screen is that hollow point or wadcutter ammunition cannot be used due to the neoprene backing being severely damaged in this case.
From the product description-
Meggitt Training Systems’ new live fire screen lets you train on the FATS® 100LE or 100MIL virtual training system in a live fire range using live weapons. The live fire screen integrates directly into the FATS 100LE or 100MIL with the same software and courseware (16:9 aspect ratio) used with Meggitt’s patented BlueFire® wireless weapons. This highly advanced technology allows you a variety of training features:
The live fire screen system includes a sensing bar, rubber screen and deflector assemblies. The sensing bar cameras interface directly with FATS systems.
Hit Detection Technology
Meggitt’s live fire screen’s technology determines the position of a hit, allowing a much shorter time between shots, and can quantify the delivery of two successive shots faster than any other screen in the industry. The live fire screen uses optical triangulation to determine the position of hit. This allows a much shorter guard time (5ms) compared to other solutions. In comparison, microphone (sonic) based systems require approximately 50ms, while thermal based systems require more than 500ms.
Supported Gun/Ammo Types
The screen can be used with a variety of live fire weapons, from revolvers to sub-machine guns. Qualified ammunition includes:
- NATO 9mm (9×19 parabellum)
- NATO 5.56mm (5.56×45)
- 7.62mm (7.62×39)
Since the live fire screen is comprised of self-sealing rubber, only ammunition with a solid rounded or pointed ogive can be used.Hollow point, wad cutters and special tipped ammunition cannot be used, as they will damage the self-sealing screen material.
In addition to the Live Fire screen, the company is updating their FATS 100MIL system to incorporate various weather conditions and most interestingly an IR version as well so users can use the system while donning their NVGs.