The US Navy is giving up on flashy touchscreens and going back to old-fashioned ship controls. The move follows a 2017 collision involving the USS John S. McCain that led to the death of 10 sailors.
An investigation has found that the touchscreen system on the ship’s bridge was too complex and that crew members had been poorly trained. This contributed to a loss of control of the ship prior to it hitting a merchant ship
“We really made the helm control system… just overly complex, with the touchscreens under glass and all this kind of stuff,” rear admiral Bill Galinis told a recent symposium of the American Society of Naval Engineers.
He added, “We got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number-one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”