Navy Putting Cameras In The Engine Rooms Of Its Destroyers

The US Navy recently released an RFP looking to outfit a destroyer with 22 cameras to watch it’s machine rooms. It says the cameras will help “reduce workload in the Central Control Station and Bridge.”

The system has to be scalable so that cameras can be added and removed at any time and they want software that will allow the control room to view six streams at once, among a number of other requirements.

The whole thing is part of a the Destroyer Modernization program.

The modernization program is the Navy’s effort to upgrade it’s fleets to extend the life of the ships and keep up with current threats. For destroyers, that means changes and upgrades from everything from electronic components for weapons systems, to adding more efficient watertight doors, to video surveillance upgrades.

Take a look at the RFP docs.

What I'm confused about is how the cameras will "reduce the workload." There isn't any elaboration to that in the docs and I know it would take forever to get a response from the DoD on that. So has anyone ever worked on a project like this before and have some insight? Anything stand out to you about this?


I have no idea about the Navy but I have a good idea of how typically surveillance cameras are used to 'reduce the workload'. I assume there are things that need to be monitored visually inside of the engine room (smoke, water, dials, etc.) and that they currently have sailors stationed or regularly rotating amongst them. These cameras should help reduce the number of people used there. The central operator will watch all the camera feeds and then dispatch individuals to areas with highest need.

It sounds like a typical job reducement program.

I recon they wish to cut on workers on the engine rooms trough the use of automation, but still wish to keep a general overview on how the systems are doing (are pipes leaking, gas exhaustions ?).
As John says, it will just be one person watching all the SCADA systems and along side that the camera's to see if any strange behaviour is shown in the machineroom.

So the reduction is prolly to negate the increase of workload they created by skipping a few FTE's.

This comes down to the architects and designers (we deal with them daily) that have no experience in this market but think they do. I could, however, see them in conjunction with cameras deployed shipwide, but of course, those other cameras will work on another system/vendor/bid.