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April 14, 2011
Watson unveils new simulator
By Michael Brooke
JUNIOR officers will learn to pilot the
next generation of warships by using
some of the best technology available at
the upgraded $10 million training facil-
ity at HMAS Watson.
A new simulator uses computerised
virtual-reality software to simulate a
working warship's bridge, complete with
a 240-degree view of a computer-generat-
ed 2D scene through the bridge windows.
It will allow training officers to get a
feel for the upcoming Hobart-class AWD
and the Canberra-class LHD.
COMAUSFLT RADM Steve Gilmore
opened the new facility, one of the most
advanced simulators in the world, on
"This facility is at the cutting edge of
simulator technology and provides jun-
ior seaman officers with very realistic
training so they will be capable of car-
rying out the duties of the officer-of-the-
watch before heading out to sea," RADM
"Our Navy is the first in the world to
use multi-flex touch screens in a warship
bridge simulator, which increases func-
tionality without cumbersome hardware."
The simulators replicate the full range
of maritime operations likely to be expe-
rienced while on the bridge of a warship,
and can be reconfigured to match most
ships in the RAN's current fleet.
New functionality includes boat oper-
ations, interdiction, docking and beaching
evolutions relevant to the new LHDs, the
first of which is due to enter service in
"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 50 metres of each other conduct-
ing replenishment-at-sea approaches,"
RADM Gilmore said.
Two full mission simulators and four
part-task simulators allows up to six war-
ship bridge teams to train for specific
scenarios in a joint exercise environment
or run six independent scenarios.
The graphics system can replicate dif-
ferent environmental conditions -- ranging
from clear days to raging storms. It can
also detail land and sea scapes, plus fea-
tures such as dynamic models of aircraft,
tugs and other ships.
The combined navigation and bridge
training facility was renamed the Taylor
Building in memory of VADM Rod
Taylor, a specialist navigation and opera-
tions officer who was Chief of Navy from
The Defence Materiel Organisation
delivered the simulation system on time
and under budget. The system was pro-
vided by Kongsberg Maritime Simulation
and Training, Norway.
EXCITING FUTURE: A junior officer operates the new bridge simulator at HMAS Watson.
Photo: ABIS Alan Lancaster
By CMDR Andy Nelson
HMAS Perth is putting to test its
upgraded Anti-Ship Missile Defence
(ASMD) capabilities in sea trials.
With little fanfare but great expecta-
tion, Perth began the sea-phase of her
Anzac-class ASMD trials program in
The Defence Materiel Organisation
carried out major modifications to the
ship as part of upgrades delivered in the
SEA 1448 Phase 2 project. The initial
phase of the upgrade was completed in
October 2010 and was followed by a
"cold move" from the Australian Marine
Complex at Henderson to Fleet Base
West for the second phase.
Commanding Officer CAPT Mal
Wise said the ship was handling
"There is little evidence of the addi-
tional top-weight that, among other dis-
tinctions, makes Perth the second tallest
ship in the RAN with a mast-head height
of 38.7 metres," he said.
"There is no truth to the rumour cir-
culating that Perth will be re-designated
as 'FFF' -- Flashest Frigate in the Fleet!"
Designed and built by CEA
Technologies in Canberra, a fourth-
generation active phased array radar has
been installed in the distinctive cupola
sitting atop the aft mast.
New infra-red search and track sys-
tems have also been installed, while the
former target indications radar has been
removed. The entire operations room
has also been replaced with an updated
combat system and revised layout.
The sea trials will verify and vali-
date ASMD changes to capability and
other modifications aimed at enhancing
Perth's stability, such as the enclosure of
the quarterdeck and addition of ballast.
Extensive sea trials will be conducted
until the middle of the year.
ASMD trials head to sea
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