Damen Naval presents full virtual reality version of Dutch combat support ship

Damen Naval has delivered an extensive virtual copy of the new combat support ship (CSS) Den Helder to the Materieel & IT Command (COMMIT).

Courtesy of Damen

According to Damen Naval, this is the first time the company has created a virtual reality (VR) version of an entire ship for and with the Royal Netherlands Navy.

“The slogan for new crew members on board used to be ‘Know your ship within 24 hours’. Now we can change that slogan to: ‘Know your ship 24 hours before you board’,” explains Damen Naval Project Director Arjan Risseeuw. “The virtual ship is a copy of the design created in our 3D design software Cadmatic. Everything is in it: the steel, the pipes and cableways, the equipment and all the spaces. So, you can walk through a virtual version of the ship, while the real ship is still being built.”

The VR version of the ship was created in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence’s maritime simulation centre (SCM). After the VR package was transferred to COMMIT, they in turn transferred it to the Royal Netherlands Navy. The idea is that the naval training institute will use the virtual ship for training sessions for the new crew.

“The VR model already allows us as crew to think remotely about details in the ship’s operations that you normally do on board,” says Captain Lieutenant at Sea Stefjan Veenstra, Commander of CSS Den Helder.

The CCS Den Helder is gradually coming to life. Last month, the diesel generators were tested. The ship is expected to go on sea trials in early 2024 and will be delivered to COMMIT later that year. The Royal Netherlands Navy will then carry out a part of the work itself before the ship can be commissioned in 2025.

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