Warship handling and anti-piracy training capabilities boost for RAN.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) opened its recently upgraded ship's bridge simulator training facility at HMAS Watson in Sydney on 25th March 2011. Featuring a host of new full mission and desktop simulators from Kongsberg Maritime, the new facility represents one of the most advanced naval training centres in the world and will be used by RAN cadets to learn to pilot the next generation of warships, alongside a wide range of critical training applications, including anti-piracy.
"The new facility at HMAS Watson is one of our most advanced naval installation to date, and its satisfying to see it officially opened on time, especially as it was installed on a tight schedule and RAN required that there was no loss of training time during the installation," comments Mark Treen, Sales and Marketing Manager, Kongsberg Maritime, Simulation Department, who attended the official opening in Sydney. "The RAN has been a Kongsberg Maritime simulator user since 1998. It attends and is an active part of our Simulator User Conferences, exchanging views and ideas about how best to focus our simulator development and we are delighted that they chose Kongsberg Maritime for this upgrade and that they play such an active role in our worldwide community of customers."
The contract for the HMAS Watson upgrade was awarded in January 2010, with several key requirements in addition to the short timescale to completion combining to create a challenging project; all systems had to be compatible with the existing simulator installation and scope of supply creep was not permitted. The RAN and Kongsberg Maritime teams were able to stay within these requirements and as such, the facility upgrade has already been awarded the Navy Minor Project Award by Australian Defence Magazine (ADM).
"To be recognised by the highly regarded Australian Defence Magazine as part of the team that won the Navy Minor Project Award is very satisfying. The award reflects the professionalism of the team, both on the RAN and Kongsberg Maritime sides, that has made the simulator upgrade at HMAS Watson possible," continues Treen.
The HMAS Watson upgraded ship's bridge simulator system was delivered in two phases. It comprises two state-of-the-art full mission simulators, four part-task simulators, ten desktop systems, instructor and debrief stations and extensive visual systems, based on the latest iteration of Kongsberg Maritime's SeaView software. As an integrated system, the simulators will provide RAN with the capability to train cadets in scenarios ranging from simple tasks, such as passage planning, ocean passage and coastal navigation, to more complex tasks including pilotage, berthing and un-berthing, precise navigation and close quarter maneuvering when conducting warfare type exercises.
"The RAN is an extensive user of Bridge Simulator functionality and capabilities, pushing the boundaries on its availability requirements and operational scenario expectations. KONGSBERG's bridge simulator was analysed prior to selection and was assessed as capable of fulfilling the RAN's usage requirements for the current training programs and the flexibility of providing for future operational growth," stated Rod McMahon, Director Minor Capital Projects (Navy), Defence Material Organisation on award of the contract in January 2010.