BAE Systems has deployed a network of visualisation suites, integrated with virtual reality technology, at its Glasgow, Portsmouth and Bristol facilities, in a bid to transform the approach to the design and build of UK Royal Navy warships.
The new system generates complete 3D ship prototypes and enables the company's engineering teams to virtually construct and assess the design prior to the construction phase.
BAE Systems Naval Ships business managing director Mick Ord said: "Visualisation technology is transforming the way we design, build and deliver complex warships.
"By creating a virtual prototype, we can mature and optimise a ship's design and gain a real understanding of the vessel and the experience of those serving on board before manufacturing begins."
The system's laser tracking system and interactive wand enables operators to view a design from any angle in real-time and study, as well as rapidly check, particular areas, equipment and systems.
Furthermore, it can detect and deal with potential engineering issues in real-time, and improve collaboration and engagement with suppliers and customers.
"This new tool forms part of our wider investment activity, as we create a world-class UK naval engineering business.
"New facilities, processes and ways of working will enable a step change in efficiency, quality and safety, helping to ensure we remain competitive and deliver the best value for money to our customers."
The latest virtual reality technology was installed by Cheshire-based Virtalis, as part of a contract for the deployment across BAE's sites.
As part of a pilot, underway since February, BAE has commissioned five suites to assist in the designing of the Royal Navy's new offshore patrol vessels, as well as an updated design for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
Image: The new technology generates complete 3D ship prototypes. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.