"The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, 'What can we do to make your life better?' " said Lt. j.g. The Xbox controller typically costs less than $30. "And one of the things that came out is the controls for the scope". The sailors' familiarity with how to use the controller is one of the reasons it has been chosen, as the Navy doesn't have to spend hours training them on how to use it, something they do have to do with the clunky helicopter styled stick that they have been using. According to Lockheed Martin, a standard control panel would usually be $38,000 per unit.
In addition, many millennial-aged sailors grew up playing video games and already know how to use a gaming controller, which made the skill transfer extremely easy for crew members. Instead, periscopes aboard the U.S. Navy's Virginia-class subs consist of two 360-degree rotating photonics masts with high-resolution cameras.
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The humble Xbox 360 controller will now help control a multi-million $ killing machine. Large monitors display these images for everyone in the control room to see. Additionally, Xbox controllers will be installed on existing Virginia-class submarines. As well as that it also allows submarines to travel faster and quieter than before and saves on building costs.
After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.