Navigation Simulation Suite Opens at Port of Milford Haven



Safe navigation is a priority operating principle for the UK’s largest energy Port, the Port of Milford Haven. And earlier this week the Port demonstrated that commitment with the unveiling of its new, state of the art marine navigation simulator.

Significant investment has been made in developing this new facility, and it is an exceptional tool. Built using MARIN’s latest software, DOLPHIN, the navigation suite is positioned to lead the market in training and exercise scenarios. MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, is an industry leader in hydrodynamic and nautical research and development and they were selected as delivery partners for this reason. Their systems bridge the gap between research and commercial operations and deliver a navigation tool with incredible precision.

Deputy Harbourmaster and Pilotage Operations Manager, Captain Steve Hardcastle, expands on its potential, “This is going to be an important facility for us and, we believe, the industry too. We’ll use it for training our own pilots who are required to manoeuver some of the world’s largest vessels inside the deep, but relatively narrow channel of the Milford Haven Waterway. The suite’s adaptability means that training scenarios can address both standard and extreme conditions but also allows training in emergency scenarios such as failure of ship’s equipment and machinery. The facility will be promoted for use by others in the maritime industry.”

“The simulator suite has a modular design. Rooms can either be booked individually or as a whole to allow a combination of navigation bridge, tug bridge and VTS simulation suite in creating a complex port-wide scenario,” Steve continued. “The software allows users to experience as close to real life as is possible with exact reaction to all environmental and hydrodynamic forces (such as ship to ship interaction or bank suction), all within a safe environment. It also has multiple vessel programs and we can even modify the suite to recreate different bridge layouts.”

Noel Bovens of MARIN continues: The DOLPHIN software follows DNV guidelines and is based on extensive and on-going research into the field of ship hydrodynamics, port and waterway design. Our mathematical ship models are widely considered as highly sophisticated maneuvering models that are based on sea trials and model test results. It is a high performing piece of equipment and we can see the suite becoming a primary training and learning site for the sector.

Port of Milford Haven’s Chief Executive, Alec Don, summarises: “Safe operations on the waterway are our primary concern. Alongside the commissioning of three new pilot vessels, investment in portable safe navigation software, and a major dredging campaign, the Marine Navigation Suite has been a key element of our investment strategy. The suite also demonstrates the dynamic nature of our business, with our team taking an innovative approach to solving industry issues.”

Both the Port and MARIN are looking forward to a long and productive partnership extending into all aspects of marine simulation.

BMT Upgrades Its REMBRANDT Simulator



BMT Ship & Coastal Dynamics, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has announced new enhancements to its marine navigation and maneuvering simulator, REMBRANDT, used globally by pilot organizations, shipping companies, naval architects, civil marine engineers and port authorities.


Separate controls for setting wind, wave and swell wave parameters have been introduced. By allowing independent control of these features, more realistic scenarios can be examined – a feature of particular relevance for offshore simulations, as well as certain critical port approach maneuvers, BMT noted. Wind shielding is also now available.

REMBRANDT V6 also supports the direct import of high resolution terrain data (LIDAR data) which will allow users to quickly and automatically create their own highly detailed visual scenes. This combined with the new near photorealistic visualization of sea surface further enhances users’ immersion into the simulated environment.

In line with these and other additional functionalities which have been incorporated into the newly established simulator complex in BMT’s U.K. offices, its marine navigation and maneuvering simulator capability is set to be further enhanced with the imminent establishment of a new simulator center of excellence in Indonesia.


Paul Morter, Global Sales Manager for REMBRANDT, commented, “These new and improved features have further elevated an already high end and globally respected simulator. It was important for us to look at delivering a significantly broader and more capable tool that will better support our diverse range of clients, enhancing the value this simulation aid can offer them in helping to achieve their operational goals.”

Morter continued, “An important factor when berthing at an offshore structure is the shielding effect it creates – as the visiting ship comes into the ‘lee’ of the structure, the magnitude of the prevailing wind, waves and current can be significantly reduced; REMBRANDT V6 can now realistically represent this effect in real time simulations.”

BSM Adds Simulators at Cyprus Training Center



Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has invested in a Full Mission Bridge and an Engine Room simulator for its training center in Limassol, Cyprus, allowing BSM to offer training for the career development of its own officers, as well as external training for participants in the region. Training will include STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) courses as well as tailor-made customer courses to the advanced level required for Deck and Engineer officers.

The bridge simulator consists of two separate 180 degree visualization bridges fully equipped with various controls and systems, including ECDIS, RADAR/ARPA, VHF, bow and stern thrusters, simulated anchoring and mooring, use of tugs for berthing assistance, GMDSS radio communication, signaling equipment such as lights and shapes, steering gear and engine control.

This equipment allows users to select vessels from the library of 40 different ship types, operating in 25 sea and port areas. The Bridge Simulator also connects with the newly installed Engine Room Simulator enabling up to six students to train in ship’s maneuvering and machinery operations on individual stations.

Simulation training is of the utmost importance in modern shipping, particularly for the employees of a shipmanagement company. With the wide range of possible operating systems present even across the same fleet and an ever-increasing number of processes becoming automated, it is vital that personnel are competent in handling the nuances of whichever vessel they are assigned to.

Via this training, nautical and engineering officers will gain knowledge and improve the skills required to serve on board in today’s technology-led shipping environment.

John Pritchett, Corporate Manager HRM – Training and Development, said, “With training and the emphasis we place on career development of our sea staff being at the forefront of our philosophy, BSM have invested in our facilities in Cyprus with the addition of this new equipment, which takes the center to another level; and further promotes our ability as the leading training provider in the region. This also aligns the center in Cyprus with our facilities in Manila and Mumbai.”

London invests in new ship and tug simulators



The Port of London Authority (PLA) has invested £250,000 (US$366,015) to upgrade its ship bridge simulator suite. It has added a full tug bridge simulator in reaction to the expected rise in port trade and terminal expansion. PLA has used its existing bridge simulator to train pilots that guide ships along the Thames.

However, it decided to invest in a new simulator and recruit 12 new pilots to facilitate increased traffic on the Thames, which has risen to more than 45 million tonnes of cargo a year. In addition to its core role in PLA pilot training, the simulator is also used for coaching pilotage exemption certificate holders and for specialist training of senior officers from shipping companies, tug masters and pilots from other port authorities.


“This upgrade integrates the latest hydrographic modelling, allowing trainees to learn the characteristics of the Thames from the North Sea right through to central London,” said PLA marine operations director Peter Steen. “It gives pilots the chance to experience all kinds of ships from tankers to container ships, cruise ships to car carriers, before they go on-board and operate them for real.” He said the facility includes an interactive tug simulator for training of large ship manoeuvring in the PLA area.

Terminal operators plan to invest more than £1 billion in their operations over the next five years, several looking at handling larger ships. The new simulator can be used for research and development purposes, to check proposed new berth plans and to demonstrate how new ships will be handled on the Thames, Mr Steen said.

DALO renews maritime simulation co-operation with Kongsberg



The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) has entered into a new framework agreement with Kongsberg to renew their maritime simulation co-operation.

As part of the agreement, a ten-year, long-term system support programme (LTSSP) extension has been signed to provide the latest simulation technology, and upgrade DALO’s existing Kongsberg simulators to the new K-Sim Navigation simulator platform.

The renewed cooperation will enable Kongsberg to deliver its simulation systems along with service support at DALO’s training centres in Denmark and cater to the future maritime simulation needs of Denmark’s armed forces.

The new, user-oriented, K-Sim Navigation simulator is fitted with an advanced physical engine and advanced hydrodynamic modelling, enabling vessels, objects and equipment to enact scenarios in real life.

Kongsberg Maritime area sales manager Bjarne Torkelsen said: “Our new framework agreement enables DALO and Kongsberg to build up competence and functionality that will offer tangible and significant benefits in training.

“It provides stability for DALO in terms of maritime simulator capabilities today, and in the future, ensuring high-uptime at its simulator parks through dedicated support services and access to the latest advances in simulation technology to enhance training.”

In 2012, Kongsberg was contracted by DALO to deliver four DNV Class B part task bridge simulators for the Danish Home Guard School.

Additional deliveries included instructor and debrief stations, and integrated with real vessel equipment to provide enhanced physical realism for the trainees.

ARI Delivers Fifth Bridge Ship Operations Simulator To Indian Navy


ARI simulator

ARI has delivered a new full mission naval bridge simulator to the Indian Navy’s Andaman & Nicobar Command at Port Blair.

The new next-generation simulator incorporates ARI’s latest D-Series technology platform and has been delivered with a range of extended features including the ability to simulate beaching operations with two custom developed LCU and LST vessel models as well as a sophisticated new OPV vessel.

This delivery – the fifth ARI full mission bridge simulator delivered to the Indian Navy – extends the Navy’s commitment to these sophisticated tools as it joins the ranks of ARI full mission simulators already installed in Kochi, Karwar, Mumbai and Vizag.

For more than a decade ARI simulators have been deployed with the Indian Navy and many thousands have marked their progress through the ranks with time spent, skills learned and techniques honed on these sophisticated systems. ARI simulators are entirely designed and built in India and the technology that powers their unique capabilities is proprietary to ARI.

VSTEP delivered NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge Simulator to HELMEPA



HELMEPA purchased a NAUTIS DNV Class A FMB Simulator and Instructor Station for training of its fleet members. The simulator was delivered and installed by VSTEP at HELMEPA premises in Athens, Greece.

The simulator purchased by HELMEPA included a NAUTIS DNV Class A FMB simulator with 240° horizontal field of view and an Instructor Station. It is being used to train the navigation and manoeuvring skills of HELMEPA’s member shipping companies’ personnel.

Joost van Ree, VSTEP Sales Director: “We are proud to announce that a non-profit organization like HELMEPA has joined the VSTEP simulator family. Our FMB simulator allows HELMEPA members to train effectively ship and boat handling skills in compliance with the latest IMO requirements and model courses.”

HELMEPA is the pioneering voluntary marine environment protection association and in its capacity as “The Maritime Training Centre for Pollution Prevention, Safety at Sea and Environmental Awareness”, HELMEPA is offering to its Members refresher training on a NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge Simulator donated by Associate Corporate Member DNV GL in appreciation of the voluntary training HELMEPA has been offering to its Members for 33 years.

VSTEP delivered the Class A simulator at HELMEPA premises in Athens in Q3 2015 and provided to selected HELMEPA staff in-depth train-the-trainer courses for operation and maintenance of the simulators.

Kongsberg Maritime strengthens its simulator capacity by acquiring SMSC


Kongsberg Maritime has signed a contract to buy the Trondheim-based ship simulation and consultancy company, Ship Modelling & Simulation Centre AS (SMSC). The acquisition, which is expected to be completed January 2016, will contribute to strengthening Kongsberg Maritime’s position as a world leader in maritime simulation.

Kongsberg Maritime delivers solutions that provide high quality simulator training for merchant marine, navy and offshore personnel.

“More sophisticated vessel operations have contributed to an increasing focus on training to enhance safety and efficiency,” says CEO of Kongsberg Maritime, Geir Håøy. “SMSC fits perfectly into our business and will complement our existing product and service portfolio well. In addition to supplying simulators, training and certification, the competence of SMSC also supports us to offer our shipyard and offshore customers new and innovative simulation services, ranging from ship modelling and engineering projects to pre-simulation and operational consulting.”

“At a time of strong focus on cost savings, it is important to look into the optimisation of procedures and crew training for more competent and effective implementation of operations. With the acquisition of SMSC, we will have the ability to assist our customers to improve their margins,” adds Håøy.

“SMSC has a strong research community, which by becoming a part of Kongsberg Maritime’s international simulator enterprise, will have the opportunity to develop its potential further,” says resining chairman of SMSC, Kaare Gisvold.

For Kongsberg Maritime’s existing simulator customers, the acquisition of SMSC will contribute to increasing capacity, for instance for the development of new and accurate models to use in simulation exercises.

“The acquisition of SMSC will in all aspects strengthen our market position. SMSC will be integrated as part of Kongsberg Maritime and continue its activities in Trondheim. We already have substantial operations in the city and close involvement with innovative technology environments there, including NTNU, Marintek and Ocean Space Centre,” concludes Håøy.

Transas supplies the first simulation complex for inland navigation training in the Republic of Paraguay



December, 2015 – Asuncion, the Republic of Paraguay. The Transas navigational simulator Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 was installed at the Centre for Maritime and River Shipowners (CAFyM) in Asuncion for training crews in tugs operations in the Parana-Paraguay Waterway.

The project was carried out in conjunction with VTG S.R.L., the Transas’ local representative, which is covering commercial and technical needs of the Paraguayan market for all Transas products. The NTPRO version 5.35 installed at the CAFyM centre is an excellent training solution due to its new capabilities for operation with different types of boats and barges in river waters. The simulator’s configuration comprises four visual channels based on the Transas Seagull 6000 visualisation software, conning module, ECDIS and ARPA/Radar. An additional maneuvering console is provided with the dedicated hardware to simulate maneuvering of conventional boats and push boats.

Transas provides these capabilities right in accordance with Paraguayan market demands. The Republic of Paraguay has a special geographical position being located within the basin of the Waterway, the most commercially important river system in South America. The country is surrounded by two large rivers, the Paraguay River and Parana River, where navigation is only possible by inland waters. This causes specific training needs, which are confidently met by the Transas simulation systems with inland navigation features.

The opening ceremony of the simulation complex was held at the CAFyM headquarters and was attended by relevant authorities, such as Ambassador Eladio Loizaga (the Minister of Foreign Affairs), Dr. Guillermo Sosa (the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security), Mr. Ramon Gimenez Gaona (the Minister of Public Works and Communications), Mr. Juan Carlos Muñoz Menha (the President of the CAFyM), and military authorities and personalities dealing with river environmental issues.

During the ceremony, Mr. Juan Carlos Muñoz Menha gave a presentation on capabilities of the new Transas simulator through various exercises, detailing possible applications, and highlighted the valuable contribution and support of Transas and VTG S. R. L. throughout the whole project.

ROC Kop van Noord-Holland installs VSTEP simulators


VSTEP Full Mission Bridge simulator

The Maritime Training School ROC Kop van Noord-Holland has purchased a full simulator centre from VSTEP for its Nautical College in Den Helder. The deal includes three NAUTIS DNV Class B simulators, three NAUTIS Desktop Pro simulators including instructor station and a full Engine Room simulator classroom with 15 trainee stations.

The ROC Kop van Noord-Holland provides vocational courses and training for companies and individuals in the northern part of the province of North Holland, including maritime courses. The Nautical College is certified by the ministry of Infrastructure, Living environment and Transportation (IL&T) in the Netherlands, which is a requirement for any maritime training institute offering STCW certified courses in the Netherlands.

With the addition of the VSTEP NAUTIS ship bridge simulators, the ROC’s Nautical College will enable its students to learn, practice and perfect new ship and boat handling skills through certified training courses in accordance with the latest national and international standards.

To maximize students training in different environments, three new custom environments were added to the existing simulator library. The new environments include the Wadden Islands, the North Holland Coastline and the NIOZ Port which were all recreated for use in the simulators.

The installed engine room simulator classroom on the other hand will allow students to familiarize themselves with the engines on board of contemporary vessels, train with different engine configurations and teach them to solve engine room related problems through accurate simulation.

VSTEP bridge simulator “The Nautical College now has state of the art simulators”, according to Aad de Wit, Chairman of the Executive Board of the ROC Kop van Noord-Holland. “It will, no doubt, further enhance our position as an outstanding centre of excellence in providing education and training for seafarers. By providing optimal training for the growing number of students, the Nautical College caters to the shipping industry’s training needs.”