BAE Systems Maritime Australia has developed a new digital simulation tool in support of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) future Hunter-class frigate programme. 

The new Hunter digital simulation (HUDS) tool will enhance shipbuilding process by allowing the company to optimise programme schedule using an automated decision-making logic.

This tool will further support the rapid development of a wide range of shipbuilding scenarios that can be used for conducting routinely workstation analysis as well as tracking the development of future builds.

The previous analysis process was performed manually, using Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and paper cut-outs, and would take up to two weeks to develop. On the other hand, the new digital tool can easily carry out the entire analysis in nearly two minutes.

Surface Combatants and Combat Systems first assistant secretary major Sheryl Lutz said: “The HUDS tool makes it easier to exploit the data that helps us understand the utilisation of the shipyard and apply key changes.”

The HUDS tool can further be implemented to support the rapid development of build scenarios of both land and air domains.

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According to Lutz, the new tool will further enhance the digital capabilities of the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.

The company is under contract to deliver a total of nine Hunter-class anti-submarine warfare vessels to the RAN. The new ships are being developed to replace the service’s existing fleet of Anzac-class warships.

Lutz added: “The workforce at Osborne Naval Shipyard will utilise advanced manufacturing practices to deliver one of the most capable and lethal anti-submarine warships to date.”

The tool is also being considered by the shipbuilding teams in the UK, who are building the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates based on the Hunter-class reference design.