The Ministry of Defence and Leonardo commissioned Nevesbu to design the integration of the new main gun, the new layout of the ammunition room, and the new auxiliary equipment to ensure ammunition handling can be carried out in compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation. During the implementation, Nevesbu will also provide on-site supervision. The integration of the new main gun and the new auxiliary equipment presented a complex puzzle, partly due to the many functionalities involved in this small area in the vessel.
OHS-compliant ammunition logistics and storage
When formulating the layout for the ammunition room and designing the new auxiliary equipment, Nevesbu examined how the entire logistics chain of transporting the ammunition from the quay to the vessel’s ammunition room and from the ammunition room to the main gun can be conducted in compliance with occupational health and safety legislation. Both in the port and during seaway. The new auxiliary systems designed by Nevesbu consist of a transport system that transfers the ammunition from the lift to the ammunition storage room, bulk storage racks for conventional ammunition storage, and an assisted ammunition transport system that can move the ammunition within the space, for example, from the storage racks to the gun hoist. The new layout of the ammunition room guarantees that the crew can carry out the work safely, efficiently, and according to occupational health and safety legislation while ensuring the continuance of operations in a seaway and, for example, following a shock (an explosion in or around the vessel) or during an ambush of the vessel’s hull.
Ensuring a well-functioning whole
Integrating the new main gun and the new auxiliary systems is a complex task that involves many aspects. Examples of challenges that reflect the complexity of Nevesbu’s work in this project include conceptualising the existing (minimal) space and the countless requirements regarding safety, legislation and regulations, shock resistance and efficiency. These are essential aspects to which the solution must comply. Especially when an area is so limited, every choice profoundly influences all the other elements. The challenge is finding an optimal balance that enables each system to function correctly and with which operations can be performed safely and efficiently at all times. Nevesbu applied its own systems engineering method and contributed a wealth of knowledge from various technical disciplines.
Nevesbu began the project by conducting a feasibility study, in which sketch designs were made of various design solutions. These designs were then elaborated into final designs. To realise a well-functioning whole, Nevesbu used an integral project approach and specialist knowledge of the end-user use in practice to translate the client demands into specific requirements for each component. Examples of these requirements include exact dimensions, weight, consumption, space requirements for operational handling and maintenance, etc.
Experiencing the design with Virtual Reality
Recently, Nevesbu presented the final design of the new situation with a virtual reality (VR) model to the Naval Maintenance and Sustainment Agency of the Ministry of Defence and Leonardo. The advantage of presenting the final design through VR is that it enables the client, end-user, supplier and shipyard to experience the design in a realistic and accurate manner. Furthermore, the VR glasses make it possible to walk through the new ammunition room and observe the actual dimensions of objects while gaining insight into how much space is available and how the interfaces are related. VR thus offers a realistic experience of how the design is put into practice. Nevesbu also used VR during the project to make choices for specific design solutions.
The design is now complete, and the renovation work has commenced. Nevesbu will also be involved in the on-site supervision during this process. The HNLMS Evertsen is one of four LCFs to be equipped with a new 127mm main gun. All LCFs are expected to have this new system by 2026.