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Davit trainer

Royal Navy Type 45 Sea Boat Launch Trainer

The launch and recovery of sea boats from ships is an exercise that has hitherto predominantly been practised at sea. It’s a potentially dangerous but also infrequent procedure and opportunities for the operators to become familiar with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) tend to be few and far between.

As part of the crew training development programme for the new Type 45 destroyer, Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim UK) created a virtual model of the ship in VBS2 military training simulation software.  Further to this, BISim UK were contracted by the Future Training Unit (FTU) at HMS Collingwood to supply a training simulator for sea boat launch and recovery operations.

These require the operator to control a number of systems including opening and closing the launch bay doors, docking and undocking the Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), and operating the extending winch and hoist davit, largely by means of a hand-held remote control module.
BISim UK created a virtual representation of the sea boat deck in VBS2 allowing the trainee to move around the virtual deck as a first person avatar and operate all the relevant functioning machinery necessary to practice the launch and recovery procedures.

SFS Ltd were asked to design and build a replica of the system’s hand-held remote control module to interact with the VBS simulation programme for the trainee to practice synthetically controlling these systems. In the space of only three weeks SFS were able to deliver two fully-functional prototype replicas in time for a concept capability demonstration at ITEC 2012.

These prototypes were then used as part of a proof-of-concept programme which resulted in an order being placed by BISim UK with SFS in 2014 for production versions of the controllers as part of complete training kits, each one consisting of replica control module, a laptop pre-loaded with the VBS2 training software, and an HD projector, all contained within a protective case fitted with custom foam linings.

Improvements to the control module included the addition of a miniature joystick to enable the operator to move his/her avatar around the deck without having to be within reach of a mouse.

Eight Sea Boat Launch Training kits are now in service with the Royal Navy.