A high-end simulated sea combat exercise between Royal Australian Navy warships was completed last month as part of Exercise Viking Raider.

The air warfare destroyer HMAS Brisbane and frigate HMAS Anzac were located on opposite coasts but using operation room simulators in New South Wales and Western Australia; the two warships could fight together in a real-time maritime warfare scenario.

During the exercise HMAS Brisbane’s advanced layered attack and defensive combat capabilities were brought into the exercise using its simulator at HMAS Watson. A frigate simulator at HMAS Stirling, was used to incorporate the Anzac’s long range air, surface and sub-surface capabilities into the exercise.

“We can challenge multiple ships working as a surface action group in high-end air warfare, surface strike and interdiction scenarios in a much more cost-effective way and without committing resources at sea. This also helps balance training needs with maintenance for our ships and respite requirements for our people,” Director of Navy’s Fleet Force Generation Directorate, Captain Pete Bartlett said in a Department of Defence release.

“One of the biggest advantages of synthetic exercises is the ability to immediately play back the scenario afterwards, review the data and break down any lessons. Ships can see where they can do better and sharpen their response for the next run. You just can’t do that outside of a simulated environment.”

The RAN is using exercises such as Viking Raider to exploit simulation removing real world restrictions, thereby adding scale, density and complexity to the training environment and complement traditional at-sea training.