The Australian Defence Department has invested in a new naval communications simulator to offer improved training to sailors and prepare them for various operations at sea.

Developed by Australian small to medium enterprise Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems, the simulator has been deployed at the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime Wing at HMAS Cerberus.

The Generic COMCEN Simulator (GCS) is based on a generic communication centre in an enhanced frigate.

Cirrus managing director Peter Freed said: “Cirrus has worked closely with the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime Wing in developing the GCS, and this close relationship has been a key contributor to the success of the project.

“Cirrus is also pleased to announce the awarding by Defence of a support services agreement for the ongoing support of the GCS, covering helpdesk, hardware maintenance, software support and ongoing functionality evolution of the GCS.”

The naval communications simulator will be used to support training and assessment for basic communications operator courses through to advanced courses.

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Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne noted that the simulator would boost the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to conduct complex maritime operations.

“This simulator is another innovative step forward, providing our sailors with the training tools they need to succeed in their mission of preserving peace and security for all Australians.”

Pyne said: “The Australian Defence Force is required to operate simultaneously in both domestic and foreign domains, including cyber and space while coordinating people and assets to achieve strategic aims, requiring world-best practice in communications.

“This simulator is another innovative step forward for our Navy, providing our highly capable sailors with the training tools they need to succeed in their mission of preserving peace and security for all Australians.”

The naval communications simulator allows sailors to train in a simulated operational environment. It creates scenarios that may be faced by communicators embarked in major fleet units.

Pyne added: “Communicators are critical to the success of our fleet as we operate in an increasingly dynamic maritime domain, regularly in task groups with ships, aircraft and troops on the ground.”

The Navy will deploy GCS for the first time during a pilot course expected to be conducted in mid-2019.

–Additional reporting by Talal Husseini.