A new facility at Tuas Naval Base will cut training time by 60 per cent for sailors to operate Singapore's latest home-built high-tech warships, with two more now ready for action.
The RSS Daring-Littoral Mission Vessel Simulation Centre uses technology, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to make training more effective and efficient.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah opened the centre and officiated the commissioning of RSS Justice and RSS Indomitable - the navy's fourth and fifth Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) to turn operational.
Ms Indranee said that in addition to its traditional role in coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance missions, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) also plays an important role in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as search-and-rescue missions.
''To accommodate this wider range of maritime missions, LMVs adopt a concept of 'modularity', which allows them to be easily configured to suit a variety of mission demands,'' she said.
She added that Singapore's LMVs have performed commendably since being commissioned last year.
MAPPING OUT MULTIPLE SCENES
Any scenario you can experience out at sea, it can be simulated at the centre. With artificial intelligence, the simulated enemy forces can also be configured to react differently.
SENIOR PROGRAMME MANAGER FOR THE SIMULATION CENTRE JASON KHONG, who is from the DSTA.
Besides their deployment during the summit in June between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the LMVs also participated in various exercises with foreign counterparts in the region.
All eight LMVs are scheduled to be operational by 2020.
The new simulation centre was jointly developed by the RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). It houses two simulation halls which replicate the LMV Integrated Command Centre's 360-degree view around the ship, for more realistic training.
This view is generated by 15 high definition projectors placed in each of the 30m by 30m halls and 4.1m tall wraparound screens.
A variety of simulations can be generated - including harsh weather conditions, system malfunctions, high traffic density in congested waters and the presence of enemy ships - to support training in areas such as berthing, navigation and watch-keeping, and weapon-firing.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ang Goon Hwee, commanding officer of the simulation centre, said: ''With the high-fidelity projection, training can be conducted in harsh and demanding conditions in a riskfree and controlled setting, so that trainees can focus on honing their skills to achieve higher competency, resulting in more effective training.''
In the past, trainees needed to use different simulators. For berthing training, for instance, the exercise had to be conducted out at sea for four hours and needed a crew of 23. At the new centre, berthing training can be done by four people in one hour.
The centre also allows for combined training between different teams on the LMV.
Senior programme manager for the simulation centre Jason Khong, 36, who is from DSTA, said: ''Any scenario you can experience out at sea, it can be simulated at the centre. With artificial intelligence, the simulated enemy forces can also be configured to react differently.''
Military Expert 1 Sachael Teo, 24, a marine systems operator on RSS Justice, said that as a junior operator, training at the centre allowed her to gain confidence in overcoming various malfunctions on the LMVs which may occur while out at sea.
''The training at the centre has also allowed me and my shipmates to build our team synergy while responding to different kinds of scenarios,'' she added.
Navy's latest warships ready for action
Two of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) latest locally built, high-tech warships turned operational yesterday. Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the RSS Justice (above) and RSS Indomitable - the navy's fourth and fifth Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) to turn operational. In a speech at Tuas Naval Base, Ms Indranee said justice and indomitability are two attributes that drive the RSN in its mission to secure Singapore's sea lanes of communication. "Both also guide the RSN as it strives to ensure that Singapore continues to enjoy fair economic relations with our international trading partners, and that the RSN will always rise to the occasion with an indomitable spirit, ready to respond to potential seaborne threats when called upon," she added. Yesterday, a training facility that reduces the time needed to train sailors to operate on board the LMVs was also opened at the base.