The Hon. Jason Clare MP
Minister for Defence Materiel
.

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11 Jun 2011

MIN56/11
Day, Date Month Year

Avatars train on Navy’s future ship

 

Sailors will be able to use 3-D avatars to train on ships that are currently under construction thanks to cutting edge simulation technology being used in Australia.

 

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare visited KBR in Canberra to see first hand a demonstration of the virtual Landing Helicopter Dock Ship (LHD), created using CryEngine® 3 -- software developed for computer games.

 

KBR have been contracted by Defence to create the interactive, three-dimensional replica of the first LHD scheduled to be delivered in the middle of the decade – HMAS Canberra.

 

Up to 100 personnel at any one time can use this virtual ship to participate in simulated exercises and emergency response scenarios from all over the country without having to be in the same location.

 

“This is like Play Station with a purpose,” Mr Clare said.

 

“KBR have combined gaming technology and the plans of the LHDs to create a state-of-the-art 3-D model of the Navy ship currently under construction.”

 

Mr Clare said innovations like this virtual ship represented the future of military training.

 

“These LHDs are different to any ship the Navy has ever sailed and this simulation gives sailors a head-start on training to operate the ship.

 

“It means our sailors can start learning how to operate these new ships years before they begin operations.

 

“Helicopter pilots can land a virtual helicopter and Navy engineers can train on the ship’s virtual engines.

 

“The level of detail is incredible -- sailors can even find the bunk they’ll sleep in on board.

 

“This can save time and money in the training and operation of these ships.”

 

The hull of the first LHD was launched in February in Spain where it is being constructed by Navantia.

 

The hull of the first ship will arrive in Melbourne next year for further work to be completed at the Williamstown Shipyard before it becomes operational in late 2014.  Australia’s second LHD will become operational the following year.

 

The LHDs will be the largest ships the Navy has ever operated, eclipsing Australia’s last aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne.

 

Each ship is 230 metres long and can carry a combined armed battlegroup of more than 1000 personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and 12 helicopters. They also include a 40-bed hospital.

 

Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620

 

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