When still a fairly young man, I was involved with advanced electronic equipment used by the RAF & the Royal Navy. Everything had to be spot-on when this type of gear was placed on a jet bomber or a naval jet fighter, because men’s lives were at stake, and the Servicemen involved wanted to come back to base on an evening; so you can imagine the care which was taken when calibrating the gear. It was as good as it got, in those days of thermionic valves, resistors, small round ‘scopes; but it did the job.
But times move on, technology changes; and the gear is smaller, mostly solid-state or indeed chip-based stuff, where the coding is more important than the millions of transistors which are loaded and laced onto a single silicon chip. Which is where you get the all-purpose saying, ‘we are using ‘World-leading’ systems’.
It must have been one of those ‘world-leading sensor systems’ that the Trainee Commanders aboard HMS Ambush were using; just when they surfaced right underneath some large merchant ship, denting their nice, brand-new £1.1 Billion’s worth of Nuclear Attack Submarine. (Click the pix to get a better view of the totally crumpled Conning Tower)