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The U.S. Navy launched its newest submarine. It includes an Xbox controller

Officers aboard the Indiana earlier this year as the submarine sailed to Port Canaveral.
Officers aboard the Indiana earlier this year as the submarine sailed to Port Canaveral. US Navy

The United States Navy just commissioned its newest submarine. The USS Indiana officially entered service last week in a ceremony in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Navy Capt. Jesse Zimbauer, the first commanding officer of the USS Indiana, called the submarine “the most advanced, powerful warship on earth,” during the commissioning ceremony, according to Florida Today.

The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine is named after the landlocked state of Indiana, the third Navy vessel to bear the name. The sailors aboard take the naming tradition so seriously that they call themselves Hoosiers, as Indiana natives call themselves, according to the Navy.

The galley, or mess hall, aboard the Indiana is the “Brickyard Bistro,” named for the finish line at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway, known as the “Brickyard.”

The USS Indiana also has one feature that might be familiar to many American teenagers: an Xbox controller used to control an advanced periscope, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

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Navy researchers tested an Xbox controller. The USS Indiana’s new advanced periscope uses an Xbox controller to move its camera. US Navy

The Virginian-Pilot reports Navy officials say new submarine crew members have grown up using joysticks and these types of controllers, so they can use them intuitively. The new periscope technology, called a photonics mast, has a high-resolution camera the controller can move around to see above the surface when the submarine is underwater, accord to the Virginian-Pilot.

Describing the features of the new submarine, the Navy notes, “Indiana is one of the first boats to use a new and improved joystick controller to maneuver this mast rather than the traditional periscope hydraulic column. This frees up space in the control room and allows multiple individuals to see what the scope sees.”

The submarine is 377 feet long and 34 feet wide, according to the Navy. It is built to be able to operate in shallow waters. The Navy explains that a torpedo room in the submarine can be converted into an area for special operations forces. Divers can also operate out of the sub with a chamber for them to get in and out of the submarine.

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