Royal Navy to use PSPs for engineering training

UK armed forces division looks to technology to save space and cut costs

The Royal Navy will hand out PlayStation Portables to some of its sailors in an attempt to motivate them to study more while at sea.

The platform is seen as more attractive alternative to books and an effective learning method which can be used in an individual's bunk space - while the Navy has also cut its training costs to GBP 200 per hour as part of its wider efficiency drive.

The Weapons Engineering School has purchased 230 consoles, reports The Times, which will be pre-loaded with bursts of training around eight to twelve minutes in length, and the first staff to receive them will be marine warfare engineering technicians, who are responsible for radar, sonar, VHF radio and communications systems.

"You have a voiceover as well as a presentation to explain it, instead of having to sit there and read it from a book and fix it in your own mind," said leading engineering technician Chris Colpus - one of those to have used the PSPs already. "As soon as people know they are going on a course, they are going to want to get their hands on these as quickly as possible so you can get a heads-up on the maths."

But despite their primary use as education, the Navy opted not to remove the UMD drive, so sailors are able to play games as well.

"I thought if we don't disable it, it'll be better looked after," commented the man behind the scheme, Lieutenant-Commander Mark 'Beasty' Williams. "They are also engineering technicians and would probably be able to fix it themselves."

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