US Navy decided to use Xbox 360 controllers instead of expensive $ 38,000 remotes

“The economy must be economical” - this is a saying that the representatives of the US Navy know firsthand. The other day it became known that the fleet plans to switch to controllers from Xbox 360 game consoles instead of expensive specialized control panels that are being used now. By the way, the cost of such controllers reaches $ 38,000. Yes, the US military is allocated huge funds. But, as we see, the military can also count money.

Seafarers need controllers not to play, but to control periscope and other systems. Sensors and sensors of various types, cameras placed on ships, collect a huge amount of data, which are then analyzed and displayed on monitors. Well, to work with such systems need controllers, not just the keyboard.

Modern periscopes are no longer just a tube with optics, as depicted in old films and cartoons. No, it is a complex system with sensors, cameras, optical communication channels and computers. These devices are needed to control such modern periscopes. The transition to game controllers will be implemented gradually. Initially, they will be used in submarines of the class Virginia (in particular, on the submarine John Warner). Interestingly, to control the movement of this kind of submarines need only two people. In such submarines, instead of a periscope, a photon mast is installed, which gives a high-definition image, including the infrared range.

Images from the mast are transmitted to large screens in the wheelhouse. Well, working with the system, as mentioned above, is carried out with the help of a controller, here it is no longer possible to just put your hands on special pens and manually turn the periscope.

The controllers from Xbox will be used not only because they are hundreds of times cheaper than specialized control panels, but also because they are much more convenient. “The Navy’s leadership somehow surveyed sailors and junior officers about how to improve the lives of seafarers,” says Kyle Leonard, senior submarine officer John Warner. “And one of the things that the sailors mentioned is the periscope control. The consoles that are used now are inconvenient, they are too heavy. "

It is clear that just like that, remove the specialized photon mast control panel and connect the controller from the Xbox. In order to realize this, the Navy will have to hire technicians who will carry out all the necessary work. But it should pay off handsomely, because the new controller from the Xbox costs $ 30, and the same console, which is discussed above - $ 38,000. At the same time, such remote controls are unique for each submarine - you cannot use them in other types of submarines. The photon mast operators are happy - because if something happens to the controller, you can just go to the game store and buy a new device, and not order repair and replacement of the console.

Unfortunately, a quick upgrade is not possible. Submariners will have to wait at least a couple of years. During this time, the equipment will be gradually modified, and then the turn of inspections will come. And only after the special commission accepts all the changes made, submariners will be able to use the innovations.

Another obvious advantage of using controllers from common game consoles is that the period of training sailors to work with photon masts is reduced. Millions of young people are familiar with the Xbox, who will be able to control the photon masts without looking at the “remote”.

Submarines, on which controllers will be installed, were first introduced in 2015. This is one of the most advanced submarines in the world. They have a special coating that makes them invisible to other ships. The length of the submarine is 102 meters. The cost of a ship of this class is $ 2,000,000,000. In addition to weapons of various types, there is its own power station, which allows you to get drinking water and air from sea water. So the submarine can not rise to the surface for a very long time. The only thing for which this may be required in a long hike is replenishment of provisions.


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