US Navy Will Use Xbox Controllers To Steer Submarine Periscopes

by | Sep 19, 2017 | Conspiracy Fact and Theory, Experts | 16 comments

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    The Navy is going to use Xbox game console controllers to steer the periscopes in submarines. The new controllers would replace the chunky and expensive joysticks currently in use.

    The US Navy will begin stocking its modernized Virginia-class submarines with them, starting with the USS Colorado that’s expected to be commissioned in November. Sailors aboard the high-tech submarine will use the Xbox controller to maneuver its periscope. The high-tech version of the instrument uses high-resolution cameras and displays images on big screens, rather than the typical movie version of the periscope, which is often shown as one person looking through it. The US Navy’s Virginia-class submarines have advanced periscopes with two photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees. Apparently, there are a few big problems with the current system of steering these periscopes.

    “That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only designed to fit on a Virginia-class submarine,” said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, the John Warner’s assistant navigator. “I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement.”

    The joystick and the control panel that Lockheed Martin had developed to steer a periscope cost around $38,000. Not only that, but the joystick was heavy and clunky. It would take hours to train a sailor to use it. When the military contractor tested the Xbox controller as a replacement, sailors were able to figure out controls on their own within only a few minutes. Considering each controller will only set the Navy back about $30, scrapping the pricey specialized joystick and panel was a no-brainer.

    According to Engadget, the Pentagon might have to buy Xbox controllers en masse in the future if the military ends up using them to control its laser weapons and other equipment.


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      1. Well… alrighty then. Just PLEASE don’t use Windows98 to control the launches of nukes from the boomers, OK?

        (Actually, they still use, I hear, floppy disks for the land based missiles. Maybe not a bad idea, with all the hacking going on!)

      2. so?

      3. New Navy Personnel have probably used the X-Box Controllers in their video games. Wasn’t Mattel involved with the stocks of the M-16 rifles in Vietname? What would really be good is if they could launch a drone (with a camera) while submerged.

      4. Will the Navy ever learn? I suppose the ramming of two of their ships just wasn’t enough of a lesson about the hacking of their computer controlled equipment.Maybe they could save a bundle by checking out flea markets for some old VIC computers to use in the fire control operations.They canned a lot of good people for no fault of their own so they could keep a lid on what really took place on those “4” ships,the Navy ships and the Merchant ships.It’s starting to come to light slowly but surely,there are too many people involved to keep it a secret very long.For you doubters I invite you to go to a web site called “gCaptain” and check out the articles about computer security aboard ships.

        • anyone in the navy ever heard of a steering wheel?

        • RE your point:
          1. Battlestar Galactica reboot
          2. Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn

      5. Any gamer worth their salt know that ps3 controllers are more comfortable and functional than the xbox microcrap controllers. 😛

      6. Ok , up periscope down periscope hmmm lmao wasted money

      7. Someone will die, Lockheed Martin is part of the industrial military complex.

      8. It costs $38,000 because it’s extensively tested, has a mean time to failure measured in the tens of decades… and of course unfortunately because they make like 10 of them. This includes all the tools labor and assembly fixtures to make them.

        I mean I get it in the sense that when you’re making a billionty seven of them, the amortization kind of works out kind of a lot differently…

        But I mean.


        Mean time to failure of an Xbox controller? Like… 2 years?

        And it’s in a wet environment.

        Like… if you get a hit near you and shit starts leaking, kiss your periscope goodbye. Ever stuck an Xbox controller in your sink and run water on it?

        I mean can’t we just work out a common set of hardened controls for everything Navy and just keep re-using them over and over? Boats subs cranes forklifts on and on and on…

      9. the guy steering the boat should be tied to the front so that if there is an accident he wont be around to blame. i learned that from the new road warrior movie?

      10. I thought a periscope just had a couple of fold-down handles that you hold, and you just walk around to aim it.

        • geeze, you have seen too may “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” episodes.

      11. Any hacking problems?????

      12. A chimpanzee, which had spent it’s every waking hour, using this console, could realistically operate the periscope.

        It’s arguably an example of seamless, mental conditioning, where there is not so much as a segue, between the game and going to war.

        You could also design nerf guns that way.

      13. Is this Amd gpu inside?

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