The largest navigational simulator in Russia was inaugurated on September 24, 2003, in the training center of Makarov State Maritime Academy in St.Petersburg, Russia. The simulator, supplied and installed by Transas, is meant for the professional training of navigators for transport and passenger ships under the Russian flag; Russian-language crews on commercial foreign vessels; and Academy cadets. The procurement of the new simulator complex is an important step forward for the Academy to offer high-quality training for marine industry specialists in accordance with European standards and IMO requirements. The Navi-Trainer Professional 4000 simulator comprises the full mission bridge of a modern commercial vessel with real navigational environment and 225 degrees visual range; a second full mission bridge with visual channels of 135 degrees; four additional bridges with ECDIS and ARPA/Radar options, and an Instructor station. At least six crews can be trained concurrently on the simulator. The training will include such international programs as Bridge Team Management, ECDIS Operator, Maneuvering and Ship handling operations. ‘We now have the largest navigation simulator in Russia at our training center, which will significantly improve the professional training of Russian seafarers, pilots and navigating cadets. Now they can not only observe the navigational situation on the Radar or ARPA display, but also receive the visual information, which approximates the training conditions to the real ones and contributes to the acquirement of ship handling skills for navigation in open sea or in intensive vessels traffic conditions,’ comments Sergey Ayzinov, Head of the Training Centre of the Academy. ‘Long-term cooperation with Transas has become the key to success for the Academy in the field of high-grade professional marine training.’ More than one hundred dignitaries, including representatives of St.Petersburg's administration, ship owners and marine authorities from Russia and other courtiers of the former USSR, attended the official opening ceremony.