Sharpening Seaward Defence

How would you experience missions out at sea onboard an RSN ship, but with your feet planted firmly on land? With the Littoral Mission Vessel Simulator Centre (LMV SIMCEN), of course.

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The LMV SIMCEN – also known as the RSS Daring – is a training system that leverages simulation technologies and virtual reality (VR) to put RSN crew through challenging and realistic training. Jointly developed by DSTA, the RSN and ST Engineering, it allows for integrated training in combat, navigation and technical skills, while employing analytics to track and evaluate crew performance.

For training to be realistic, it was important that the LMV SIMCEN was designed to be as close to the actual systems as possible.

“To mimic the operational environment, we created a replica of the LMV’s Integrated Command Centre (ICC), right down to the operator’s control stations and the all-round window view. We implemented and integrated simulation models of over 30 systems from the bridge, engineering, and combat systems into a single system,” said Programme Manager (Simulation and Training Systems Hub (STSH)) Johnathon Teo.

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The innovative 360-degree screen display is wrapped around the ICC mock-up, and accurately depicts what the crew would see when they look out of the ship under various weather and sea conditions. It even simulates different sea states, mission scenarios, and system malfunctions.

The team also recreated the experience of ship berthing – which is usually done by having a crew member go out to the sides of the ship to gauge the distance between the ship and the wharf – by customising and integrating VR goggles into the ICC mock-up.

In addition, the LMV SIMCEN enables training scenarios that would otherwise be impossible to engineer in real life, such as extreme weather and ship malfunctions.

Project Manager (STSH) Eugene Teo, who was responsible for the design and delivery of the simulated combat systems, explained: “We integrated two LMV simulators together so that two sets of ship crew can train at the same time, whether in two separate missions or in one joint mission.”

To inject greater training realism, the team introduced smart Computer-Generated Forces, which simulates other ships in training scenarios, as well as an Instructor Operating Station that enables instructors to modify training parameters and conditions.

With the LMV SIMCEN, the training time required to qualify trainees has been reduced by up to 60% as compared to training on the actual vessel at sea.

Johnathon added: “This experience helped me realised the impact our work has on Singapore’s defence, and that my job today is exactly what I’ve always been meant to do.”