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US Navy Will Discard Use Of Touch Screen And Roll In Mechanical Ones

The world is marching towards technological advancement while the US Navy is taking a step back. Oxford Reports learned that Navy will replace the touch screen controls to the mechanical ones. The decision comes after the investigation of USS John S. McCain’s collision in 2017 that led to the death of 10 Navy officers.

Its investigation report found that the fatal crash was due to the complexities in the touch screen control and poor training. The warships will witness the change to conventional ones in the next 18-24 months, the USNI News reported. Before the collision with a merchant ship in the Singapore trait, it lost the ship control.

Following the surveys and in-depth investigation,  Rear Admiral Bill Galinis, the Program executive of ships recommended that they should move towards mechanical efforts. “We’re already in the contracting process, and it’s going to come on almost as a kit that’s relatively easy to install,” he said.

The Ships that will witness the changes are all DDG-51 class (Arleigh Burke) ships. USS Ramage will be the first one to get back to conventional systems while the first new destroyer USS Ted Stevens will be the first one to drop touch screens. However, the Navy is not giving up on the bridge touchscreen altogether.

The Navy Chief Engineering Officer,  Rear Adm. Lorin Selby conveyed that every time sailors change the ships, they need to learn the systems.  “So the more commonality we can drive into these kind of human-machine interfaces, the better it is for the operator to quickly pick up,” Mr. Selby said.

Going back to the collision, the report also says that Navy personnel were not aware of the system and were already tired due to 4.9 hours sleep. Hereafter, U.S. Navy vows to provide better training for bridge systems and take care that officers are not tired when they are on job.


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Simon Hemelryk
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