The British Army say that the Urban Training Facility boasts “moveable walls; interactive smoke, light, and sound effects; and a video monitoring system for soldiers to be able to review their performance”.

It is designed to let troops, armed with rifles adapted to use paint marker ammunition, practise entering and moving through buildings, clearing the enemy as they go.

According to a news release:

“The UTF has been developed in recognition that the world’s population is increasingly living and working in built-up areas. In their role as the British Army’s global response force, the soldiers of 16 Air Assault Brigade need to be prepared to fight in challenging urban surroundings. Buildings can be easily fortified and defended by a small number of troops, while the presence of civilians restricts the use of firepower.”

The paratroopers of C (Bruneval) Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment have been training in the UTF for the first time last week (1-5 Feb).

“The ability to change layouts, light levels and the soundscape has let troops train in simulations of a Middle Eastern shopping centre at night or an African jungle village in a heavy rainstorm.”

Colonel Martyn Wills, Deputy Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said:

“We’ve invested in this innovative facility to give our soldiers the best training possible for the urban battlefield. It allows soldiers to really focus on getting their skills and drills right, starting simply and then adding complexity through the built-in effects system. These effects make training a more immersive experience, adding extra pressure to what the soldiers are doing. We can then take the skills that have been perfected here into more challenging training in the villages built on the Army’s training areas, adding the scale of larger units operating together.”

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John Clark

I see the L85A3 seems to be the common variant with frontline troops now.

Josh P

I’m not convinced that’s A3. Just one of a myriad A2 variants with different spray paints, handguards, etc.


It’s an A3. Note the picatiny railt that doesnt step down.


This suggests that urban warfare facilities are a new idea. The army practised Fighting In Built Up Areas in Imber village in WW2. Tin City in Sennelager and UK were built in the 70s for NI training and Copehill Down is at least 20 years old.