However, in a bid to become more user-friendly, they are switching out the old and ushering in the familiar XBox 360 controller.
Microsoft has moved on from the Xbox 360, which it introduced in 2005, but it'll live on for a generation of young sailors who grew up with the device.
As a result, Lockheed Martin experimented with other systems like multi-touch tables and Kinect, but the $30 Xbox Controller was the victor amongst sailors and the government.
Modern submarines are no longer built with the single rotating, one-person-at-a-time periscope that we're used to seeing in the movies. "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?'" Lt. j.g.
And then someone apparently suggested using an Xbox 360 controller instead. Inside the sub's control room, the feed from those cameras is displayed on a large screen that anyone can see.More news: China rejects USA demands for pressure on NKorea
For the Navy and partner Lockheed Martin, a major reason behind the change was familiarity. The joystick and the control panel Lockheed Martin developed to steer it cost around $38,000.
However, the helicopter-style controller was not popular among the junior officers and sailors.
"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine..."
After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.
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.