21 September 2011
Canberra class LHD (image : shipsmodel)
Williamstown, Australia - BAE Systems has been engaged by the Commonwealth for the development and delivery of training for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships.
The training will rely heavily on simulation and virtual scenarios using the latest technology, including avatars.
BAE Systems Director of Maritime, Harry Bradford, said the use of advanced, computer-based technology for training had a number of advantages for the customer in terms of both cost and flexibility.
“The most obvious benefit in using computer simulation is that the technology allows us to recreate, and for the crew to interact with the LHD environment, without the actual completed ship. This means greater flexibility and lower cost for our customer.
“For instance the system is capable of familiarising various elements of the defence forces, including both army and navy, with the ship in terms of systems, capability, size and layout and these defence personnel can be in separate geographical locations across the country.
“With training commencing prior to delivery of the first ship, the flexibility of being able to train and familiarise defence forces at their home bases represents substantial cost savings for the Commonwealth.”
Mr Bradford said in addition to familiarising personnel with the LHD the training being developed by BAE Systems also included simulating emergency procedures and failure modes, all in a safe environment.
“This is also a major benefit for the crews of these ships in that we can recreate and test emergency procedures in a safe environment before procedures are implemented on the ship.”
There are also flow-on benefits from the creation of these training packages for other navy vessels.
Mr Bradford said once created, these simulator programs can be easily migrated to AWDs, ANZACs and FFGs which could benefit the navy for all future training programs.
Work is underway on the development of some of the simulated training through KBR, which developed the avatar technology used in the Virtual Ship Training and Information System (ViSTIS), to be used for the LHD. BAE Systems has also recently awarded a contract to Kongsberg Maritime to provide a custom engine room simulator for the engineers who will serve aboard the LHDs.
A team of approximately 30 people at BAE Systems will manage the training process for the LHD Project. BAE Systems is the prime contractor. The first hull is expected to arrive in Williamstown in August 2012. Delivery of the first training packages is expected in 2013 ahead of the completion of the first ship.