The game controller is used to manage the photonic masts, the substitute for the periscope in modern submarines
The USS Colorado, the most modern combat submarine of the US Navy that was unveiled last Saturday, has an atypical equipment for these combat ships: an Xbox command.
It is not that the submarine is equipped with a console for the enjoyment of the crew during their deployments and maneuvers. The control of the Microsoft console is used to control the pair of photonic masts that are in the wreck.
The new photonic masts replace the traditional periscopes, which allowed us to scan the horizon while the submarine is immersed.
The photonic masts are equipped with high-resolution cameras, can rotate 360 degrees and emit the images collected to the monitors in the control room of the submarine.
At first, the US Navy thought of using a control system similar to the joystick used in helicopters but were discarded because it was a heavy system and little agile.
Instead, they opted for the command of the Xbox. An option that, in the words of Commander Reed Koepp in command of the Colorado submarine, this technology saves taxpayers money and presents a sufficiently intuitive system for the sailors in charge of its management.
With 130 meters in length and a weight of 7,800 tons in immersion, the USS Colorado is the most modern attack submarine of the North American fleet. It has a crew of 130 men and is designed to fight against other submarines, surface ships, carries out surveillance operations and as a platform to deploy special operations units on the ground. In addition, it is equipped with two Tomahawk missile launchers with a load of 6 missiles for each of them.
However, this is not the first time that the command of Xbox is used for military purposes. More than a decade ago, in 2007, the US military used a modified version of the Xbox 360 controller to handle an anti-sniper drone.