Kongsberg Digital has been selected to provide a new virtual reality (VR) suite of navigation simulators for training to the UK Royal Navy (RN).
The contract, which was booked in the fourth quarter of 2022, was awarded by Capita, a UK-based firm responsible for managing the RN’s Project Selborne.
The project is a 12-year-long training modernisation initiative.
With new simulators, the RN sailors will be able to simultaneously train together with multiple ships while minimising the associated risks, logistics and expenses of at-sea training deployments.
It will enhance the operational effectiveness of personnel to undertake a wide range of missions, such as task group manoeuvres, single unit pilotage and replenishment at sea, in different weather conditions during the day or at night.
Expected to enter service by September this year, the new simulators will replace the RN’s two-decade-old trainers.
The simulators will be deployed at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, HMS Collingwood in Fareham and HMNB Faslane.
Specifically, HMS Collingwood will receive three full-mission and two small bridge simulators.
Initially, the simulators will operate independently, with plans to connect all three sites in future, allowing trainees to simultaneously train together.
Collingwood Navigation Training in-charge lieutenant commander Mark Raeburn said: “As a suite of simulation will also be increased at Dartmouth and Faslane, this will allow cohesive training on the same software before we have had to rely on disparate software systems with no commonality of training.”
The simulators will feature advanced engineering and hydrodynamic ship modelling that will support the objects, vessels and equipment to behave realistically. Sailors will also use VR headsets for an immersive training experience.
Modelling support and VR trainers for new simulators will be provided by Portsmouth-based enterprise Metaverse VR.