US Navy Swaps Touchscreens For Dials After Fatal Crash

first_img Here’s What It’s Like to Fly Upside-Down in a Fighter JetPentagon to Spend $1.1B on Military Space Programs Stay on target The U.S. Navy is ditching warship touchscreens, reverting instead to physical throttles and conventional helm controls.The move comes two years after a fatal collision between Navy destroyer John S. McCain and tanker Alnic MC in the Straits of Singapore that killed 10 sailors.An investigation into the crash showed that a complex touchscreen system, on which sailors had been poorly trained, contributed to a loss of control of the ship.Eager to embrace new technologies whenever possible, the Navy “got away from the physical throttles,” according to Rear Adm. Bill Galinis, program executive officer for ships.“That was probably the [No. 1] feedback from the fleet,” he explained. “They said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”Which is exactly what the sea force is doing.The switch, rolling out over the next 18 to 24 months, will affect all DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers using the Integrated Bridge and Navigation Service (IBNS).Seaman Joseph Brown mans an older version of helm controls on the bridge of USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) (via U.S. Navy)Beginning next summer, the first in-service ship to be refit is the USS Ramage; the first new vessel to drop touchscreens will be the USS Ted Stevens.“When we started getting the feedback from the [Naval Sea Systems Command fleet surveys] … it was really eye-opening,” Galinis told USNI News. “And it goes into the, in my mind, ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ category.”“We really made the helm control system … just overly complex, with the touch screens under glass and all this kind of stuff,” he admitted during last week’s American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium.That doesn’t mean the Navy is giving up on bridge touchscreens altogether.They are, however, aware that these systems must help crews “quickly pick up” on situational awareness.“The more commonality we can drive into these kind of human-machine interfaces, the better,” Chief Engineer Rear Adm. Lorin Selby added.More on Geek.com:Weird Whale Found by Fishermen Might Be Trained by Russian NavyNew Navy Robot Could Kill You, Wears Cute Dog TagsThe U.S. Navy’s Still Working on a Kick-Ass Railgunlast_img

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