An R&D project of NOK 10 million is proposed on software testing for automatic offshore drilling systems. Project partners are Marine Cybernetics, StatoilHydro and Maersk Contracting, who will fund 50% of the project. The objective of the project is to in troduce Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing as a new industry standard for independent testing of software in offshore drilling systems. This will improve the safety and reliability of offshore drilling systems, and it will give significant savings to yard s, ship-owners, drilling companies, and oil companies.Automatic drilling systems include draw work, crown mounted compensator, automatic heave compensator, top drive, roughneck, and handling machinery for drill string. Automatic drilling systems are adv anced computer controlled systems that rely of software to function properly. Each drilling system has unique functions, and it follows that software modifications will be required in most deliveries. Moreover, a drilling system may be a combination of co mponents from several suppliers, which means that the software from several suppliers must run together, which result in high commission costs. In addition, some software errors must be expected in the final systems. This confirmed by recorded incidents w here there has been accidents and down-time due to software errors. Such incidents may be very costly, as it is difficult to find and correct software errors in the operational phase for a software system from several suppliers. Moreover, it is important to have an independent test organization that can identify and document software errors so that the drilling contractor can initiate a correction.The proposed R&D project will solve this problem by developing Drilling HIL as a commercial test service to be supplied by Marine Cybernetics. Marine Cybernetics will use Drilling HIL Testing to perform independent software testing of integrated drilling systems so that safe and reliable operation is secured.