Australia — Navy opens high-tech warship simulator

Junior offi­cers in the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy will learn to pilot the next gen­er­a­tion of war­ships, in an upgrad­ed $10m train­ing facil­i­ty at HMAS Wat­son, Syd­ney, which will be offi­cial­ly opened tomor­row.
The new high-tech sim­u­la­tor uses com­put­erised vir­tu­al-real­i­ty soft­ware to sim­u­late a work­ing warship’s bridge, com­plete with a 240-degree view of a com­put­er gen­er­at­ed 2D scene through the bridge win­dows.

The bridge train­ing fac­ul­ty, one of the most advanced sim­u­la­tors in the world, will be opened by Com­man­der Aus­tralian Fleet Rear Admi­ral Steve Gilmore. 

“This facil­i­ty is at the cut­ting edge of sim­u­la­tor tech­nol­o­gy and pro­vides junior Sea­man Offi­cers with very real­is­tic train­ing so they will be capa­ble of car­ry­ing out the duties of the Offi­cer-of-the-Watch before head­ing out to sea,” Rear Admi­ral Gilmore said. 

“Our Navy is the first in the world to use mul­ti flex touch screens in a war­ship bridge sim­u­la­tor, which increas­es func­tion­al­i­ty with­out cum­ber­some hard­ware,” Rear Admi­ral Gilmore said. 

The sim­u­la­tors repli­cate the full range of mar­itime oper­a­tions like­ly to be expe­ri­enced while on the bridge of a war­ship and can be recon­fig­ured to match most class­es of ship in the RAN’s cur­rent fleet. New func­tion­al­i­ty includes boat oper­a­tions, inter­dic­tion, and dock­ing and beach­ing evo­lu­tions per­ti­nent to the new Land­ing Heli­copter Dock ships, the first of which is due to enter ser­vice in 2014. 

“An exam­ple of a com­plex sce­nario is manoeu­ver­ing a 3500-tonne war­ship with­in 2000 yards of a num­ber of oth­er ships while under air attack, or ships with­in 50m of each oth­er con­duct­ing replen­ish­ment-at-sea approach­es” Rear Admi­ral Gilmore said. 

With two full-mis­sion sim­u­la­tors and four part-task sim­u­la­tors, the facil­i­ty allows up to six war­ship bridge teams to train for spe­cif­ic sce­nar­ios in a joint exer­cise envi­ron­ment or, con­verse­ly, run six inde­pen­dent scenarios. 

The graph­ics sys­tem can repli­cate dif­fer­ent envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions, from a clear day through to a rag­ing storm, detailed land-and sea-scape fea­tures as well as dynam­ic mod­els of air­craft, tugs and oth­er ships, includ­ing the Can­ber­ra Class LHDs and Hobart Class AWDs. 

A ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mo­ny will also be held for the com­bined nav­i­ga­tion and bridge train­ing fac­ul­ties, which was renamed the Tay­lor Build­ing, after for­mer Chief of Navy (1994–97), the late Vice Admi­ral Rod Tay­lor AO, a spe­cial­ist nav­i­ga­tion and oper­a­tions officer. 

The ship bridge sim­u­la­tion sys­tem was deliv­ered to the Navy by the Defence Materiel Organ­i­sa­tion on time and under bud­get. The sys­tem was pro­vid­ed by Kongs­berg Mar­itime Sim­u­la­tion & Train­ing, Norway. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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