Navy switching out touchscreen for manual controls for destroyers after USS John McCain collision
The U.S. Navy is knocking certain technologies down a peg in their fleet of warships, following a deadly collision in 2017.
Guided-missile destroyers will soon have touchscreen throttle controls replaced with mechanical ones, giving less room for hardware failure in scenarios such as the 2017 collision of the USS John S. McCain and a Liberian oil tanker.
The McCain’s Ship Control Console, a series of digital touch screens that allows the crew to split throttle and steering between consoles, effectively caused a malfunction that removed control from the crew and sent the ship into the direction of the tanker.
The incident was a major Navy tragedy, with 10 Sailors lost and 48 injured.
According to The Verge, while fatigue and training woes played a role, the SCC played a significant part, as well as the ability for multiple crew members to try and steer at the same time.
In the end, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the SCC was “overly complicated,” and that a remedy would include manual controls.
The Navy claims the new manual controls will be a “plug and play” system and will be outfitted on similar ships by 2020.
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