Submersible profession: training systems (1 ° part)

(To Lia Pasqualina Stani)

"The three essential elements to get anything worth having are: first, hard work, second, perseverance and third, common sense". (Thomas Edison).

The men and women who decide to "belong" to the great submarine family are more than anything else, motivated and determined. They also share on board their boats, effort and sacrifices. They trust the human skills, first, and professional after, of each of their "colleague" who is part of the crew, present on the boarding boat. They are consciously cohesive. I would dare to say, and I repeat, but it is true, they are special.

To put it in the words of the Dalai Lama, the submariners of "our" Italian Navy, possess the "six perfections": courage, discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration and knowledge. So much, and it's never enough.

All the officers, the non-commissioned officers, the graduates (between these men and women) and the troops including the "new" VFP1 (only men for now) follow a demanding, specific and highly "professionalizing" training program.

During their submarine career, they continue and will continue to study to constantly improve the level of specialization. There Submarine School of Taranto of the Submarine Flotation Command thanks to the innovative teaching skills of the instructors and the state-of-the-art systems and equipment, all the crews operating on board the submarines of the Italian Navy.

In addition to the class submarines Sauro 3 ^ and 4 ^ series, with the introduction of the two U212A submarines of the class Todaro (Todaro e Scirè), highly technological, and two next to delivery, submarers had to necessarily adapt professionally to operate on board the same.

The submarines belonging to the class Sauro and to the class Todaroin addition to the substantial and visual difference linked to the shape of the hull, they have different propulsion systems, different combat systems that need to differentiate the path of education, training, and updating of the respective crews.

La Submarine School it is equipped with modern platform and combat simulators as well as diversified teaching aids that facilitate complete basic and advanced training.

All submarers, regardless of which boat they will be operating on, class Sauro o Todaro, are trained on both types of simulators.

At the School are supplied the training tools for the crews of the class Sauro that those intended for the training of the U212A crews.

Necessity is differentiation:

  • Training systems for U212A crews (Todaro class) are:

SSS (Steering Stand Simulator, training the "Timonieri")

SCTT (Submarine Command Team Trainer)


  • Training systems for the crews of submarines of the Sauro class are:

Dive Coach

Propulsion coach

Trainer Traffic Siluri

Spill Garitta Simulator

  • "Common" Training Systems for the Sauro and U212A Class crews:

CBT (Computer Based Training)

Falla and Smoke Simulators

Linguistic Laboratory

Multimedia Room

The systems used for training the crews of the class Sauro they are simulators and "coaches" that serve to develop the ability to conduct a submarine by sea, not only in normal and optimal conditions, but, especially in extreme damage conditions, difficult to replicate on board a boat at sea, excluding the possibility of producing damage side.

The propulsion simulator of the class Sauro "faithfully" reflects the real Local Electric Switchboards of the boat and allows the training and training of qualified technical personnel responsible for controlling the platform.

It prepares the crew for the maneuvers that take place in the propulsion control area or the main electric motor. The propulsion is of the electric type with a single propeller coupled to a double armature electric motor. The necessary energy is supplied by 3 Diesel / Generator groups and / or by the propulsion batteries depending on the navigation set-up. The commands are carried out only by activating switches and diverters.

The local switchboards are part of the control areas of a submarine.

The simulator consists of a large box that faithfully reproduces the local electrical panels.

It is clear that what is simulated in this coach is what could actually happen on board during the different navigation phases of the submarine, to snorkel, in depth, periscopic and on the surface.

The management of the local electrical panels is entrusted to two important figures: the electrician and the motorist. Each of the two independently manages his console. Even if the motorist knows the "maneuvers" of the electrician and vice versa. Both keep an eye on and control the propulsion data, the voltage of the batteries and all that is needed to navigate the boat by sea.

At the electrician on duty, the "propeller speed orders" come from the local maneuver, which allow to increase or decrease the speed of the boat; when the operator has silenced the order, he sets the speed or the number of revolutions of the required propeller-motor. The motorist will check the pressures, the temperature and the speed.

In fact, the "number of revolutions of the propeller" is written on the electric panel.

Inside the simulator, in addition to the future submariners, in the control room there is the instructor who, in order to train the on-board teams under any circumstances that might arise in reality, simulates different navigation conditions, from normal situations to situations extreme and complex that could, if not properly addressed compromise the stability of the boat and the safety of the crew.

The dive simulator (photo) reproduces the Camera di Manovra (platform part) of a class boat Sauro.

It consists of a mobile platform supported by hydraulic pistons, which allows you to faithfully reproduce the pitch and roll movements generated by the sea state. Whether the boat is on the surface, diving or "snorkel". The movements of the trainer are obtained through the command sent by a computer to the oleo-dynamic system.

In the control panel everything is indicated with the names related to the function.

The diving simulation, in the presence of an instructor, provides the presence of the guard team in maneuver purely for the platform operating part, the team, including helmsman, is trained on a wide range of situations from the simplest to the most unlikely .

The instructor simulates all possible failures and the most unlikely weather conditions. Through the simulation program, the instructor submits the trainer to the same, different, effects that occur with different sea states, in terms of strength, intensity, type of wave and direction of origin. The faithful reproduction of life on board, in a maneuvering room of a class boat Sauro, also reproduces the noises that can be heard in reality.

For the training activities of Overflow from a damaged ship, Submarine School It has a Garitta's Spill Simulator.

In the 2005 also the freediver expert Umberto Pellizzari visited the school to try out this simulator. In this simulator the staff trains the initial phase of the "individual leak". From the preparation to the dressing up to the opening of the outer door of the gate, with the appropriate suits marked by the orange color. It is a realistic and functional reconstruction of the "escape gate" of a class boat Sauro which allows the crew to be rescued in the event that the damaged and damaged submarine "lands" on the bottom. The whole crew, individually, must implement the procedure without hesitating or making mistakes. Equipment and emergency equipment correspond faithfully to those supplied to the boat.

The next phase of training involves climbing up to the surface. The training process that you learn with the simulator is completed by sending crews to NATO country facilities. It can be carried out at the Royal Navy base in Gosport or at the Norwegian Navy base in Haakensvern where the Submarine Escape Training Tank (SEPT). È a high simulation tank 30 meters, where the student goes back to the surface with the same special suits supplied on board our submarines.

For all submarines it is mandatory to perform this type of training and instructors, demanding motorbikes, do not make this stage of preparation for the profession easy.

In an adjacent room there is the Falla and Smoke simulator where the staff is trained to "fight" two of the worst dangers you can have on board, the fire and the leak. The same simulator also allows the personnel to be trained in the introductory phase of the collective escape from the submersible "Rush Escape" submarine currently available on the class submarines Todaro.

Finally, theTrainer Traffic Siluri, is located at the Aeronaval Training Center of the Navy (MARICENTADD) of San Vito (Taranto).

Reproduces the entire "A184 model" torpedo system of the class Sauro e Todaro. Includes both a launch tube and control panels. The qualified silurist staff is trained here.