The Australian Department of Defence is set to invest more than A$80m ($57.50m) to expand and upgrade the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) simulation trainer fleet.

A new bridge simulation trainer will be installed at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia as part of the upgrade, in addition to the integration of a new command team trainer and improvements to other simulators at HMAS Watson in Sydney, Australia.

The bridge simulation trainer is designed to replicate a real-life vessel’s bridge with realistic scenarios and will be used to train bridge teams in ship navigation and handling techniques.

RAN sailors and officers deployed to operate the vessel’s combat and communications systems will be trained using the system. The command team trainer represents the operations room of a virtual ship and uses simulated scenarios to teach navy personnel.

“Simulation training also provides an environment where individuals and teams can safely rehearse complex and high-risk missions.”

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said BAE Systems Australia, DXC Technology Australia, L3‑Oceania Australia, and SAAB Australia are involved in the simulation trainer upgrade project.

The development of the simulation trainers will help sustain more than 100 job opportunities across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Pyne said: “We are committed to improving the quality and efficiency of the training delivered to navy personnel.

“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.”

The investments will help reduce the time spent on completing qualifications and transporting people across the county, as well as the training load on ships.