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Cadets experience HMS Queen Elizabeth’s firepower at HMS Collingwood

Cadets at Collingwood
7 March 2018
Cadets from St John's School, Leatherhead visited HMS Collingwood recently as part of their Combined Cadet Force programme which aims to teach teamwork, leadership and self-reliance.

The party of cadets split into four groups to tour round the Base including the Weapons Training Section, part of the Maritime Warfare School, to learn about the maintaining and firing of the Navy's weapons systems.

In the Future Training Unit, they were shown the latest state-of-the-art computer modelling which is used to train senior rate maintainers on the new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, showing them in great detail the hydraulic hatches and weapons lifting equipment and allowing them to familiarise themselves with how these can be used and maintained whilst out at sea.

The cadets were also shown how the mechanised weapons handling system stores and moves weapons efficiently to achieve optimum performance and space allocation on board the limited confines of a ship.

It's been really interesting as I'm keen to join the Royal Navy on the engineering side and this visit has definitely encouraged me

Cadet Ben Webb

Transferring into the nearby Virtual Reality (VR) suite, the cadets ‘visited’ the Bridge of the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier and undertook various tasks using the VR equipment, including fighting a fire, launching an aircraft and preparing a remote-controlled explosive device. 

The Cadets then toured the 4.5 Mark 8 Gun in the Weapons Engineering Training Unit where Petty Officer Alan Bates entertained them with a full explanation of the gun's mechanics and how a shell is loaded and fired, and then gave the Cadets an opportunity to lift one of the 37 kilogramme rounds to demonstrate how challenging this would be on an actual warship at sea.

They were then introduced to the cutting-edge technology employed by the Base's Phalanx Gun system fitted to the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, which fires ninety 20mm rounds every 1.2 seconds.

Cadet Ben Webb said of the visit, "It's been really interesting as I'm keen to join the Royal Navy on the engineering side and this visit has definitely encouraged me."

Cadet Fraser Brunton added, "I'm really enjoying my visit. It's interesting to learn how it all works."

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