Royal Australian Navy spends $10m on simulator

The upgraded simulator provides computerised virtual reality software to train workers on warship bridge

Royal Australian Navy training simulator 2011 - The opening of the simulator at HMAS Watson in Sydney

Royal Australian Navy training simulator 2011 - The opening of the simulator at HMAS Watson in Sydney

Junior officers in the Royal Australian Navy will learn to pilot the next generation of warships in an upgraded training facility at HMAS Watson in Sydney worth $10 million.

The upgraded simulator, provided by Kongsberg Maritime Simulation and Training in Norway, uses computerised virtual reality software to simulate a working warship's bridge and includes a 240-degree view of a computer-generated, two-dimensional scene through the bridge’s windows.

“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,” Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral, Steve Gilmore, said in a statement.

“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."

The simulators help replicate realistic maritime operations that officers are likely to experience while on the bridge of a warship and have the ability to reconfigure to match most of the ships in the Navy’s current fleet.

Additional functionalities enabled by the upgrade include boat operations, interdiction, and docking and beaching evolutions relevant to the new landing helicopter dock ships, which are expected to enter service in 2014.

“An example of a complex scenario is manoeuvring 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,” Gilmore said.

The new facility has two full mission simulators and four part task simulators and allows a maximum of six warship bridge teams to train for specific scenarios in a joint exercise environment or run six independent scenarios.

The graphics system can replicate different environmental conditions, detailed land and sea features and models of aircraft, tugs and other ships, including the Canberra Class LHDs and Hobart Class AWDs.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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