USA submarines will use Xbox 360 controllers to operate their periscopes

US Navy Using Xbox 360 Controllers To Operate Submarine Periscopes

US Navy Using Xbox 360 Controllers To Operate Submarine Periscopes

You're probably familiar with using your Xbox Controller to play Call of Duty or Forza in your living room, but the government has come up with another (much cooler) use for the device. The U.S. Navy has revealed (via Engadget) a plan to replace the joysticks it now uses to control the periscopes on its Virginia-class submarines with Xbox 360 controllers.

Plus, Xbox 360 controllers, which run around $30, cost way less than a military grade joystick for a submarine.

Sailors had been using a helicopter style-joystick to spin this new periscope.

Newer Virginia-class submarines don't have traditional periscopes like those seen in movies such as The Hunt For Red October, where one person at a time peers through a periscope.

"It's kind of clunky in your hand; it's real heavy", said US Navy Lt. j.g.

And then someone apparently suggested using an Xbox 360 controller instead.

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In an effort to cut costs, Lockheed Martin and Navy officials were looking at off-the-shelf technology, and for crew members who grew up playing video games, the answer was simple.

"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine..."

According to the AP, the Xbox 360 controller setup will make its debut with the integrated imaging system on Virginia-class subs with the forthcoming USS Colorado.

"I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement".

After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.

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