It is risky to rely solely on GPS. Therefore the Navy gradually returns Sextant in its training program.
At the end of the 1990s the Navy of the United States of America (United States Navy) renounced the training in the orientation based on celestial bodies. 2006, the celestial navigation was completely disappeared from the curriculum. About at the time, also the U.S. Coast Guard painting these skills from your training program. Because the ships were able to use so much more accurate and flottere GPS navigation. But today the Navy thinks different.
Since 2011 officers who could be entrusted with ship navigation, learn about navigation on the basis of the stars again. And this autumn there were the first runs in the briefing of lower ranks, although in low doses.
The teaching program is rebuilt in small increments. While the Navy uses Marine Academy also documents of the U.S. Merchant. This educational institution for the Merchant Navy continued through their relevant training. So, their graduates should know how to use a sextant is.
These ancient devices, not only help the navigation using celestial objects. You can determine thus angle between visible points on the Earth what is prerequisite for trigonometric calculations of position in the level.
In the German Navy, navigation by Sextant is taught by the way still. (ds) The US Navy fears that their warships sail disoriented over the seas, if the GPS is hacked. So, the crews must learn again handling the sextant.
A rule of thumb is: simply constructed technique à la VW Beetle is more robust and resilient and can be used also in times of crisis rather than the more powerful and more user-friendly high-tech. Moreover, the "vintage"technology shows resistant against hacker attacks. For this reason, the Russian intelligence service again creates for example mechanical typewriters. For the equipment of the NSA Investigation Committee of the German Bundestag was thinking also about the acquisition of simple machines.
The latest example of this "retro"trend: The U.S. Navy (U.S. Navy) is again on the ship navigation using a sextant to educate their officers and lower ranks of the service, such as the capital Gazette reports t.
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The training to the sextant had completely removed the Navy in 2006 from the curriculum, but already in the late 1990's the offspring of the U.S. Navy no longer learned how to determine the position of a vessel using a sextant and the stars. Because there were and are so much more accurate and easier-to-use GPS. As a result, sales for Sextant collapsed significantly.
But: GPS hack, cyber attacks can make disoriented the mighty aircraft carriers, missile cruiser and other warships of the world's largest naval force. On top of that, GPS may fail after a lightning strike on a ship.
Therefore, the Navy now made a U-turn and can teach the positioning with Sextants and stars back at the Naval Academy. Because the optical mechanical Sextant and certainly the stars in the sky can now even not from the Internet hack.
Since 2011, the Sextant, the U.S. Navy again educates officers. And autumn 2015 all ranks of the U.S. Navy to get - there is talk of three lessons - short teaching units in terms of positioning for the stars. There have been first test runs with selected candidates.
Where the navigation by Sextant is not as accurate as GPS accurate up to a few metres. Even an experienced Navigator must reckon with the sextant with a deviation of up to 1.5 miles (2.41 kilometers).
The question is: who's at all nor the Know-How to teach dealing with Sextant? Not only in the U.S. Navy, also at the U.S. Coast Guard this knowledge is missing so long. But the Merchant Navy teaches merchant at their U.S. Naval Academy still and without interruption "Sextant customer". The U.S. Merchant Marine Navy now provides teaching materials available.