Damage to the left side is visible as the destroyer USS John S. McCain steers towards Changi Naval Base, Singapore, following a collision with a merchant vessel on Aug. 21, 2017. The Navy is replacing touch-screen throttles and helms on destroyers with hand-held ones after determining that the McCain's controls caused confusion that contributed to the collision. JOSHUA FULTON/U.S. NAVY
Damage to the left side is visible as the destroyer USS John S. McCain steers towards Changi Naval Base, Singapore, following a collision with a merchant vessel on Aug. 21, 2017. The Navy is replacing touch-screen throttles and helms on destroyers with hand-held ones after determining that the McCain's controls caused confusion that contributed to the collision. JOSHUA FULTON/U.S. NAVY

Navy to trade new technology for old to help avoid ship collisions

by Scott Wyland
Stars and Stripes

The Navy is replacing touch-screen throttles and helms on destroyers with hand-held ones after determining that the state-of-the-art controls caused confusion that contributed to the USS John S. McCain’s deadly collision in 2017.

Steering and speed controls will revert to manual versions in the next two years on destroyers equipped with the Integrated Bridge and Navigation Systems, according to USNI News.

It’s part of a push by the Navy to overhaul bridges in every class to help avoid accidents like the McCain’s and USS Fitzgerald’s, which together killed 17 sailors. Sailors stated in surveys after the collisions that they preferred the older, hand-held controls to steer and adjust speed, USNI News said.

One Navy leader appeared to agree that newer technology isn’t always better.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.594106

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