US Navy plans to use Xbox controllers on its submarines


At a time where we are seeing spending on military contracts come in way ‘over budget’ due to complications in construction you may be surprised to hear that the US Navy are adopting a far simpler form of technology. Rather than re-invent the wheel they are using existing tech – an Xbox controller to be exact.

The Virginia-class nuclear powered fast attack submarines don’t have a traditional rotating periscope. Instead they have high-resolution cameras and large monitors. Although this is not uncommon for modern submarines the way it’s controlled is.

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The US Army have already started using the Xbox controller in operations for UAVs.

Typically a photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel costing $38, 000 USD is used. However the Navy plans to integrate an Xbox controller, which costs about $30 USD into the system because they’re more familiar to younger sailors and require less training.

It will first be integrated into the USS Colorado which was laid down in March 2015 and is still under construction. Although with an overall build cost of approximately $2.8 billion USD she isn’t cheap but this type of frugal innovation could start to be adopted by militaries world wide providing it meets the service requirements.

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