Russian sailors swap traditions for new technology

The Russian Navy is abolishing an old tradition, known as semaphore, of waving flags as a means of communication.

Flag-waving has been used for passing coded messages for more than 115 years, but requires a high level of human expertise.

So now instead of waving flags, sailors will use special blinking searchlights.

Still, naval experts predict the old-fashioned method will make a return in several years, when the fleet will be fully manned by professionals, instead of the conscripts who currently serve.

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