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The US Military to Ditch the Touch Screen Control Features On Destroyers

The US Military to Ditch the Touch Screen Control Features On Destroyers

The US military usually welcomes technology whenever possible. This time, nonetheless, it is retaking a prominent step. The Navy will ditch touch screens on destroyers throughout the next 18 to 24 months, returning instead to conventional helm controls and physical throttles. The decision came in acknowledgment to feedback from the fleet after an investigation into the united states john S. McCain’s collision in 2017, which killed 10 Navy sailors. The report found that the warship’s advance touchscreen interface and inadequate training performed a task in the crash with a Liberian-flagged vessel.

The swap will affect all DDG-51 class (Arleigh Burke) ships utilizing the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System. It’s best to see the first change in the summer of 2020. The first in-service ship to leap can be the U.S. Ramage, whereas the first brand new destroyer to drop touchscreens can be the U.S. Ted Stevens.

The choice is not a lot a flat-out rejection of technology as an acknowledgment that it has to make sense and be easy to use. Program Executive Officer for Ships Rear Admiral Bill Galinis noted that the feedback slotted into the “just because you can doesn’t suggest you should” mindset. The Navy adopted touchscreens without considering that the system was “overly advanced,” and that there should be “bridge commonality” to help sailors adjust if they’re transferred to a different ship.

This isn’t to say the Navy is giving up on bridge touchscreens altogether. Nonetheless, Navy chief engineer Rear Admiral Lorin Selby famous that any interface needed to be consistent and help crews “quickly pick up” on a given state of affairs. Warships must be intuitive to operate — the consequences are severe if they aren’t.