Australia to upgrade navy’s fleet of onshore simulation trainers

MWO Training in Simulator. Photo: Commonwealth of Australia

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) fleet of simulation trainers is planned to undergo a major upgrade and expansion, the country’s defense minister said.

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defense, announced on August 31 the investment worth more than A$80 million.

A new bridge simulation trainer will be introduced at HMAS Stirling, in Western Australia, and a new command team trainer and upgrades to other simulators will be installed at HMAS Watson in Sydney.

Bridge simulator trainers mimic a real-life ship’s bridge with highly realistic scenarios. They are used to train bridge teams, and in particular bridge officers in ship navigation and handling techniques.

The command team trainer is a virtual ship operations room and uses simulated scenarios to teach personnel. It’s used to train sailors and officers in operating the ship’s combat and communications systems.

“It’s great news the Australian Industry Content on this project is around 90 percent. The companies involved include BAE Systems Australia, DXC Technology Australia, L3‑Oceania Australia, and SAAB Australia,” Minister Pyne commented.

Minister Pyne said simulators are critical in maintaining Australia’s strategic advantage and this investment will increase the navy’s ability to effectively train its sailors and officers.

“By expanding the fleet of onshore simulation trainers, navy will not be limited by factors that can impact training at sea and can deliver more reliable and increasingly sophisticated training packages. Simulation training also provides an environment where individuals and teams can safely rehearse complex and high-risk missions,” he added.

As explained, the investments are expected to reduce the time spent completing qualifications, moving people across the county and the training load on ships.

“The new and upgraded simulators will assure Australia’s ability to develop and maintain potent, operational-ready platforms with highly trained personnel prepared for all contingencies at sea,” Pyne further said.

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