Digital shipyard tool boosts program

BAE Systems Maritime Australia, who will deliver nine state-of-the-art Hunter-class frigates for Navy, have further enhanced the shipbuilding process by developing a revolutionary tool.

CAPTION: Workers at BAE Systems Maritime Australia use the Hunter digital simulation tool to help optimise the Hunter-class frigate program schedule at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. Story by Emma Taylor.

The Hunter-class will be one of the most advanced anti-submarine warfare vessels in the world and the Hunter digital simulation tool (HUDS) will help to optimise the program schedule through automated decision-making logic.

The digital shipyard tool allows for rapid development of shipbuilding scenarios that are used for daily workstation analyses or development of future builds.

A manual scenario analysis that would typically take two weeks to develop using Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and paper cut-outs, can be processed by HUDS in as little as two minutes.

This tool is already attracting attention from shipbuilding teams in the United Kingdom, who are building the Hunter-class reference design frigate, the Type 26.

First Assistant Secretary Major Surface Combatants and Combat Systems Sheryl Lutz said the Osborne Naval Shipyard is at the cutting edge of innovation for a digital shipyard.

“Defence welcomes any opportunity to enhance productivity and speed up the build using advanced processes,” Ms Lutz said.

“The HUDS tool makes it easier to exploit the data that helps us understand the utilisation of the shipyard and apply key changes.”

HUDS draws on software that is often used in fast-paced manufacturing environments, like the automotive sector.

The tool can also be applied to land and air domains, which can also benefit from the rapid development of their own build scenarios.

“We strive to be agile with how we apply new technology, and the Hunter-class frigate program operates at the forefront of digital shipbuilding,” Ms Lutz said.

“The workforce at Osborne Naval Shipyard will utilise advanced manufacturing practices to deliver one of the most capable and lethal anti-submarine warships to date.”

Defence continues to work closely with BAE Systems Maritime Australia on optimising the Hunter-class frigate program and strengthening defence industry relationships within Australia.


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