Air Force Cancels iPad Order
The U.S. Air Force has cancelled an order for three thousand iPads intended to help eliminate the need for paper in-flight data. According to Air Force Special Operations Command spokesperson Capt. Kristen Duncan, the purchase was “not consistent with the way the Air Force generally acquires IT products.”
The lesson seems clear: don’t go on a Best Buy spending spree with your tax payer’s credit card, even if there are just so many things you could do with three thousand iPads.
Buyer’s remorse notwithstanding, the Air Force remains committed to its paperless efforts, as integrated flight data technology has the potential to revolutionize the pilot experience. Tablet computers, in one form or another, are still under consideration for the near future – along with real-time database technology that will allow airmen to access updated tech manuals in-flight.
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“AFSOC's goal is to provide...an Electronic Flight Bag that is equally cost effective, secure and provides the best technological capability available to our airmen,” said Capt. Duncan.
The announcement does not affect the similar purchase being put through by a separate Air Force unit, Air Force Mobility, which is going ahead with a large tablet order, though the terms have neither been disclosed nor finalized.
The iPad has not yet passed muster with DoD security officials, but Apple is working in cooperation with the department to address their concerns and produce a military-grade software package.