Rotterdam, 9 January 2018 – The joint project with DAMEN Shipyards and Alphatron Marine passed the first phase of delivery. The Full Mission Bridge Simulator built for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) passed the Factory Acceptance Test with flying colors.


This prestigious project has its challenges. The bridge of this simulator had to be identical to four different DAMEN vessels. This meant a challenge in front of Alphatron and VSTEP.  A changeable steering console with touch screen panels became the solution without losing the ease of use as key value.

“This is an unique solution, with a result that we are very proud of. It is great to hear that the RBDF Captain immediately recognizes his own vessel. The vessel characteristics are physically present.” – said Bert Tuijl, VSTEP’s Delivery Engineer and Master Mariner. “Think hereby that the NFU Controls are identical to on the real Vessel, or an engine panel that is at the same place as on the actual bridge. It is a complete bridge – built by Alphatron Marine – that is identical to theirs and that integrates greatly with our NAUTIS software.”

During Maritime Simulator training realism is key for a successful result. You can see this on several aspects in this Full Mission Bridge Simulator, for example on a realistic layout, but also on realistic vessel behavior.


Steve Claes (Hydrodynamics expert at VSTEP) explains: “Based on drawings and Sea trials we made the first iteration of the ship models. After we finished the first iteration we tested the vessel behavior together with Captains of DAMEN Shipyard. During this test we fine-tuned these models by testing them in all possible weather and water conditions. At the end of the day we had validated vessels that behave like they would do in real-life. The moment a captain gets into his ‘own’ ship seat, we always feel a little nervous. But after the Captain has tested the vessel (with a mooring operation, some sailing in shallow water and an emergency stop), we received a big compliment. The ship sails exactly like his own ship.

“Besides the technical challenges, this was also an interesting business opportunity. Preparation is essential for operating the vessels, which is now possible for RBDF. A simulator is ideal to use during the downtime of a ship or building of a new ship and train the crew as realistic as possible in a cost effective and flexible way. This opportunity will lead to new opportunities with shipyards who want to exceed in the customers preparation, their wellbeing and safety.” – Said Ties Klapwijk, Account Manager at VSTEP.

VSTEP looks forward to the next phase of this project. This means that the installation of the Full Mission Bridge Simulator in the Bahamas will be completed. And the final touches will be made on the virtual environment, which will result in that the entire Bahamas will be available in NAUTIS.


VSTEP makes sure that you are prepared for real-life situations with our leading solutions for simulation and virtual training. Our state-of-the-art products allow you to train your skills for every scenario possible in a practical, cost effective and sustainable way. We are a Dutch based and ISO9001:2015 certified company. Stay up-to-date about the developments at VSTEP by subscribing to our newsletter or follow us on Linkedin.

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