BAE Systems are designing warships using virtual reality

Virtual reality technology is being utilized in the construction of warships for the Royal Navy in an effort to build them in a cheaper and more efficient way.

Engineers from BAE Systems, the firm that was contracted to build the vessels, have been engaged in the creation of virtual versions that may then be examined in detail before any steel is actually cut.

Read more: Smart skin could make aircraft "feel" damage like a human being

Engineers previously had to rely on wood or even cardboard mock-ups of ships, but this new system is currently in use for the development of 3 offshore patrol vessels and BAE Systems has hopes for this technology becoming an integral part of the engineering process.

Visualization technology has transformed how we design, build and produce complex warships, as the creation of a virtual prototype allows BAE Systems to mature and optimize the design of the ship.

This, in turn, helps engineers gain a better understanding of the vessel and the experiences of those who serve on board, before the beginning of the manufacturing process.

Visualization suites that feature big screens enable engineers who are equipped with a controller and special glasses to walk around these computer-generated ships to inspect the insides of the vessel and check whether the design has any potential issues.

This is a system that offers many benefits and could be set to become the way forward for this and many other fields of engineering.