The British military spends close to $60 billion (£38 billion) yearly of which the UK Navy gets its fair share. Like major multinational high-tech companies such as SpaceX and Ford as well as militaries worldwide, the Brits are embracing advances in virtual reality and visualization technology in designing, building and operating new UK warships called Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
Advanced Marine Design For The 21st Century
The UK is now using a software called “Paramarine” and its many modules, developed by BAE Systems, to build new UK warships, Astute submarines, Type 45 Royal Navy ships and aircraft carriers.
Paramarine is part of BAE Systems’ Maritime Naval Ships Division. According to BAE Systems’ Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval, “new virtual reality and visualization technologies are transforming the way we design, build and deliver complex warships.”
For example, the On Board Training (OBT) Plant Simulator uses MathWorks and Model Based Designs. All changes in system requirements, tracing of changes and design modifications are communicated to managers, engineers, suppliers and the Royal Navy in real time.
Paramarine uses a laser tracking system and interactive wand, ala Harry Potter. Engineers view and inspect a ship’s design from any angle during the design and build process pinpointing engineering issues. Paramarine also brings engineers from disparate cities like Bristol, Glasgow and Portsmouth together to share information and run simulations vastly improving overall efficiency.
Extending Virtual Reality & Visualization Technology To Ship Operation
According to Ord, Paramarine “revolutionizes the way ships operate by using virtual technologies to host and integrate the sensors, weapons and management systems that complex warships require.”
Once a ship is launched, BAE Systems software helps run the ship in a manner similar to the way in which it was designed and built.
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