SAS opens $46M training facility

SAS opens $46M training facility

Our elite soldiers now have a new $46 million training facility to keep them in a constant state of readiness.

And while the SAS aren't currently deployed overseas, the Prime Minister warned their next tour of duty could be at home.

As entrances go, the SAS would be hard to beat -- there was a dramatic welcome to their new, state of the art battle training facility.

Revered for their fighting abilities overseas, the SAS are now tasked with counterterrorism at home.

"We just can't rule out in a global world where the likes of ISIL are using social media to target people even as far away as New Zealand, there's always the potential for that risk," says Prime Minister John Key.

Within the new four-storey complex are realistic fighting zones, like a simulated ship boarding area, where the unit can practise overcoming pirates.

It's a major leap forward from the old SAS 'Kill House' in Papakura. It is a multi-level, multi-dimensional facility which reflects the type of theatre our Defence Force is now working in.

Previously, training meant using 9mm ammunition. Now the unit can fire battlefield .556 and .762 rounds.

The walls and floors are designed to absorb live firing, taking away the risk of injury from ricocheted bullets.

There are sacrificial doors to blow up, stairwells to fight in and roofs to penetrate.

Even the targets are high tech in the facility -- described by those who'll be using it as "world class".

"You've got to say did I do everything possible to prepare them for that day and I think that is our responsibility as political leaders and military leaders," says Chief of Defence Force Lt Gen Tim Keating.

The SAS won't be the only unit to train at the new facility -- it will also be used by police tactical squads and urban search and rescue.