USS John S McCain collides with merchant ship

Hm . What was the name of that US warship which shot down an Iranian civil airliner because the ship's below-deck contact "displays" showed it as an incoming enemy attack-aircraft?
So you're saying that Capt William C. Rogers III could have seen the Iranian airliner if he'd simply been on the bridgewing of Vincennes? that IA 655 was within visual detecting distance?
 
Hm . What was the name of that US warship which shot down an Iranian civil airliner because the ship's below-deck contact "displays" showed it as an incoming enemy attack-aircraft?
Vincennes

Although the displays in fact showed it for exactly what it was* It was the crew who used hither fore unseen levels of fuckwittery to interpret said data incorrectly



*As evidenced by reviewing the data later
 
He could. That then means he needs to divide his attention between directing the Ship and the actual process of driving it...blah blah then:

...ships move much more slowly and in less congested spaces. Closest Point of Advance - i.e. the nearest you will get to another ship - is still measured by us in cables, increments of 200 yards at a time.
@bob231 Ref. your 'Closest Point of Advance'??

Sounds very similar but why & when was that changed from the time honoured 'Closest Point of Approach' ?
 

bob231

War Hero
@bob231 Ref. your 'Closest Point of Advance'??

Sounds very similar but why & when was that changed from the time honoured 'Closest Point of Approach' ?
Entirely my error - good spot! I can't think offhand when I've heard it as anything other than "CPA" and mangled the acronym. Thank you!

(Big) ETA:

The issue is that all those consoles are effectively PLC controlled now. You have to have some form of human/computer interface and doing some analogue lash up that is recognisable and comfortable is just not realistic. If you follow the link in the BBC article to the article describing this change you can see that the digital system has a wheel and has throttles. They don’t routinely steer or power the ship by the GUI. The error in this incident was that the helmsman felt overloaded in a busy seaway, operating the wheel and throttles together. The intelligent response would be to get someone else to do the throttles, on the actual levers, beside the helmsman on the wheel. Instead the CO decided to have someone operate the throttles on a separate touch screen. The process of changing over to the throttles on the screen was screwed up by the team and resulted in the collision.
This decision to revert back to what the ABs had previously is a baby bath water situation which I predict the USN will rue once the cost of keeping that legacy kit operating is discovered.
On some further thought, I think we will agree to disagree on the cost and complexity of an creating an analogue controller feeding into a PLC.

However, I reckon you're right on all points otherwise, this is a training and familiarity thing probably not helped by lack of rigorous endorsement processes on a ship known to have an unusual fit.
 
... The error in this incident was that the helmsman felt overloaded in a busy seaway, operating the wheel and throttles together. The intelligent response would be to get someone else to do the throttles, on the actual levers, beside the helmsman on the wheel. Instead the CO decided to have someone operate the throttles on a separate touch screen...
I think the intelligent response would be to get someone else who was actually competent at their job to take over the helm.
 
I think the intelligent response would be to get someone else who was actually competent at their job to take over the helm.
Backed up by a personnel system that put the right number of people on the ship, who were appropriately trained before hand.

Combined with an Operational CoC that would have the balls to stop "stuff".
 

bob231

War Hero
Tangentially - didn't something come out not longer after the fact along the lines of "7th Fleet have spent so much time on mandatory D&I, Sexual Assault Prevention, etc, etc that insufficient time has been dedicated to key skills"?
 
I think the intelligent response would be to get someone else who was actually competent at their job to take over the helm.
You may say that but on most pussers greys I’ve been on the BM assists the QM when at SSD.

Also as an aside the RN don’t make it easy on themselves by using the PTI or LReg as QM at SSD rather than the QMs who do it all the time. Never really understood why you’d take the guys who do it 24/7, when at sea, off duty in the more interesting times and replace them with someone who only does it for SSD. Maybe ATG can enlighten us.

Whatever. It would seem we kind of agree the enlightened response to this incident is to improve training, assessment of competence and general oversight rather than to blame the new fangled system that the team are blaming for their screw up and remove it.
 
Whatever. It would seem we kind of agree the enlightened response to this incident is to improve training, assessment of competence and general oversight rather than to blame the new fangled system that the team are blaming for their screw up and remove it.
I highlighted that from the report. It also said that the rest of the fleet didn't like it, funny old thing, no one likes change.

HMI is something I have an interest in, in ATC we have a lot of very clever Human Factors people (mainly came to us through aircraft cockpit design) who work specifically on interfaces. I wonder if the USN had something similar, who worked with the teams that use it?
 
Entirely my error - good spot! I can't think offhand when I've heard it as anything other than "CPA" and mangled the acronym. Thank you!

(Big) ETA:


On some further thought, I think we will agree to disagree on the cost and complexity of an creating an analogue controller feeding into a PLC.

However, I reckon you're right on all points otherwise, this is a training and familiarity thing probably not helped by lack of rigorous endorsement processes on a ship known to have an unusual fit.
They’ve got an analogue controller feeding into the PLC. Its called the wheel and throttles they use normally. It’s the back up system that’s new and digital. Previously if you lost control on the wheel you had a couple of options on the bridge but pretty quickly you are steering from the secondary position at the tiller flat. The new system gives an intermediate step of steering on the touch screen assuming the control system is ok. It’s a definite improvement.

The relative cost and complexity is what’s at issue. Navies have had to get away, where they can, from operating old stand alone systems. They cost a fortune to design and manufacture and even more to maintain. The system that every other maritime operator is either using or moving to is much cheaper. If the only objection to a digital interface system is that the operators can’t get their heads around it then it’s time to look at your recruitment and training regimes. There can be issues with these systems though. There were a number on T45 with digital interfaces which were howlers. That normally comes down to either a lack of proper requirements discussion between the customer and supplier or a lack of willingness to change an already used product to suit. But saying that because the guys don’t like the new digital interfaces they should go back to previous or even design an updated version of the old system is just asking to splurge money continually rather than update and improve your training and endorsement regime.
 
You may say that but on most pussers greys I’ve been on the BM assists the QM when at SSD...
What you're describing is a procedure which is done as a matter of course (no pun intended) and as such would be a practiced event, whereas what they were doing seems to be an ad hoc solution to a problem which both really ought to have been foreseen, and probably had better solutions.
 
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endure

GCM
Tangentially - didn't something come out not longer after the fact along the lines of "7th Fleet have spent so much time on mandatory D&I, Sexual Assault Prevention, etc, etc that insufficient time has been dedicated to key skills"?

It was a USN Captain unconnected to the incident gobbing off at an interview with a magazine.
 
What you're describing is a procedure which is done as a matter of course (no pun intended) and as such would be a practiced event, whereas what they were doing seems to be an as hoc solution to a problem which both really ought to have been foreseen, and probably had better solutions.
Well yeah but from reading the reports the CO would possibly have needed to look outside of his ship, outside of his fleet and possibly outside of his service to find someone competent at the job. Blaming the kit doesn’t help that.
 
Well yeah but from reading the reports the CO would possibly have needed to look outside of his ship, outside of his fleet and possibly outside of his service to find someone competent at the job. Blaming the kit doesn’t help that.
No, but it's probably preferable to the alternative.
 
Tangentially - didn't something come out not longer after the fact along the lines of "7th Fleet have spent so much time on mandatory D&I, Sexual Assault Prevention, etc, etc that insufficient time has been dedicated to key skills"?
No. 7th Fleet was elbow deep in "presence Ops", BMD Missions, being corrupted by Fat Leonard, old platforms who were under maintained leading to compressed maintenance periods and emergency dockings, coping with Little Rocket Man, etc etc.

And no one (including the 3*) felt empowered to say "no".
 

philc

LE
Its an old article and an old OS but reading through here its still relevant to today. Reliance on technology to save on manpower and money and choosing the right technology.


The Navy’s Smart Ship technology may not be as smart as the service contends.

Although PCs have reduced workloads for sailors aboard the Aegis missile cruiser USS
Yorktown, software glitches resulted in system failures and crippled ship operations,
according to Navy officials.
 

bob231

War Hero
They’ve got an analogue controller feeding into the PLC. Its called the wheel and throttles they use normally. It’s the back up system that’s new and digital. Previously if you lost control on the wheel you had a couple of options on the bridge but pretty quickly you are steering from the secondary position at the tiller flat. The new system gives an intermediate step of steering on the touch screen assuming the control system is ok. It’s a definite improvement.

The relative cost and complexity is what’s at issue. Navies have had to get away, where they can, from operating old stand alone systems. They cost a fortune to design and manufacture and even more to maintain. The system that every other maritime operator is either using or moving to is much cheaper. If the only objection to a digital interface system is that the operators can’t get their heads around it then it’s time to look at your recruitment and training regimes. There can be issues with these systems though. There were a number on T45 with digital interfaces which were howlers. That normally comes down to either a lack of proper requirements discussion between the customer and supplier or a lack of willingness to change an already used product to suit. But saying that because the guys don’t like the new digital interfaces they should go back to previous or even design an updated version of the old system is just asking to splurge money continually rather than update and improve your training and endorsement regime.
I don't disagree with the need for good training & endorsement and a CO's ability to say his or her Ship has been made unsafe to sail through trickle posting and op tempo preventing training.

However, I don't understand where you get the ruinous expense of an analogue man-machine interface. A working system (analogue demand signal, analogue-to-digital converter, PLC) is within the reach of a good A Level electronics student. For the rudder systems, it has to be done ANYWAY, since the Ship's digital systems do need to know which way the analogue rudders are pointing. I accept that Navies will probably want more than the most basic signal, but it is producing a demand signal for a system that can fundamentally tolerate quite a bit of noise.

The mechanical components needed to produce the analogue system are more complex, sure, but they simply aren't in the same ballpark as modern weaponry or sensors. Nor, for that matter, is the extra cost of buying half-decent quality and spares in triplicate likely to register against the overall cost of the Ship nor the even month-by-month operating costs.

This isn't a plea on behalf of wastefullness. It's a question of whether a warship's requirements are sufficiently different from a large merchantman to justify spending a trivial amount (set against overall cost) for a bespoke control system interfacing with a COTS digital machinery management system.
 

lert

LE
Well yeah but from reading the reports the CO would possibly have needed to look outside of his ship, outside of his fleet and possibly outside of his service to find someone competent at the job. Blaming the kit doesn’t help that.
I think the point that's missing here is design. A system should be designed for it's users. If it's too complex for the average Joe then it's a bad design.

I run software development projects for a living. Way before I think about deploying people to start writing code, we have the UX and UI designers on board. And guess what? They spend their time with the end users. Asking questions, doing research. Where should that component go? What should that look like? Who else might need that? Where do you go from here? And there should be commonality. Every part of a system of systems should at least look like it's related to every other.

The problem is that good design is intuitive, unobtrusive and expensive. It's why the people who let tenders think they can get away with lazy expressions like 'best in class' or 'subject to a vendor bake off'. In this case, the lack of good design in a UI contributed to people getting killed. And the solution appears to be to ignore the reason it was needed in the first place.
 

NSP

LE
Do you mean that the captain of a modern naval surface ship isn't necessarily up on the bridge, where he/she can see what's actually happening with his/her own eyes?
These days radar and sonar can see and hear a lot further than the Mk1 eyeball (with or without powerful optics)...
 

NSP

LE
Who, on a submarine, gets to look through the periscope - is it only the sub's captain, or can another officer take a look?
I've looked through the periscope when I was a Spacey.

Admittedly that was on a tour around Portland and the sub' was tied up at the time.
 
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