Electronics in Modern Warships – Know The Basics

Modern warships wouldn’t have the power that they have if they didn’t have electronic equipment in them. In this article, we’re going to list the electronics in modern warships.


Source: digitaljournal

Electronics in modern warships are special in that they have to be especially made for the marine environment. They should be small enough to fit inside the bridge and must be waterproof. Some common electronics in warships include include the following:

Autopilot systems

Autopilot enables the ship to run smoothly on its course without the need for micro managing every electronic system inside the ship. They must interface with propulsion and control systems.


Charplotter devices combine GPS systems with electronic navigational charts or ENC to display where the ship is, where it’s heading and how fast it is running. It may also display additional data taken from Automatic Information Systems (AIS), radar and other types of sensors like echolocators. Chartplotters need to be used with at least one computer.


In modern warships, the true north is determined by a modern compass made up of a series of computers and fiber optic gyroscope sensors. A compass includes sensors, display and control equipment and an interface to link to the ships GPS and other navigational devices.

Fishfinder or Sonar

Sonar uses sound to locate objects underwater. Sonar equipment includes transmitters and receivers, and a device for acoustic analysis.


GPS or Global Positioning Systems broadcast information to satellites in orbit around the Earth. With the GPS anyone can pinpoint the location of a warship.

Electronic MFM

An electronic MFM is equipment that monitors, measures and reports fuel consumption. As prices of marine are always on the rise and as carbon emission regulations are stricter, electronic MFM systems have become a necessity to increase operation efficiency and to reduce fuel costs

Marine VHF radio

Marine VHF radio equipment combines a transmitter and receiver to communicate with marinas, bridges, docks and harbors. It only operates on standard international frequencies set especially for marine use.


Radar detects objects by emitting electromagnetic waves. A radar system is necessary for identifying the altitude, range and velocity of stationary and moving objects like meteorological formations, ground vehicles, ships and aircraft.

As you can see from above, there are many electronics in modern warships that goes into any standard warship by the navy. If you have any interest in warships and what makes them tick, the list above is comprehensive enough to give you an idea on how they operate.

Electronic equipment are definitely becoming better and better as the years pass by. There are some people who wonder why the US government is still operating in the navy when all forms of warfare are air-based. In other words, they think the navy is obsolete. Since World War II, there hasn’t been a case of navy to navy combat between two countries at war.


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