CANBERRA, Australia, June 14 (UPI) -- Australian navy personnel will be able to use 3-D avatars to train on Landing Helicopter Dock ships that are currently under construction.
The simulation was created using CryEngine 3, software developed for computer games, the Australian government reported.
KBR Australia has been contracted by the military to create the interactive, three-dimensional replica of the first LHD scheduled to be delivered in the middle of the decade. As many as 100 personnel at any one time can use the virtual ship to participate in simulated exercises and emergency response scenarios from all over the country without having to be in the same location.
"This is like PlayStation with a purpose," said Australian Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare.
"These LHDs are different to any ship the navy has ever sailed and this simulation gives sailors a head-start on training to operate the ship."
The hull of the first LHD was launched in February in Spain where it is being constructed by Navantia.
The hull of the first ship is to arrive in Melbourne next year for further work before it becomes operational in late 2014. Australia's second LHD will become operational the following year.
The LHDs will be the largest ships the navy has ever operated.