Air Force is ordering 18,000 iPads for its cargo planes

The Apple iPad is making its way into the hands of some service men and women, as 18,000 iOS tablets will head over to the Air Force.

These iPads are to replace the paper charts and technical manuals its flight crews carry. With this kind of purchase it’ll be the the largest single federal order for any tablet. The Air Force plans to get these slates at the lowest price possible through a firm, which is necessary with such a potentially large order.

This is an interesting move because Apple’s iOS platform has yet to receive security certification from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST). The man behind the Army’s smartphone project, Michael McCarthy, estimates that certification should come in November or August 2012 at the earliest.

On one hand I think it’s cool the Air Force is converting to iPad’s, but on the other hand, it’s a little irresponsible for Uncle Sam to issue out 18,000 iPad 2 units that would cost taxpayers around $8,982,000.00 (if you factor in the $499 cost). Keep in mind, our government has been crying broke for the last couple of years, but oddly, it has the money to pay for almost 10 million dollars in iPad 2’s.

[via Nextgov]

  • Shit

    in order for the air force to buy them, they would have had to show a cost savings.  likely in printing of materials, and personnel necessary to keep the paper copies up to date and so on.

  • H4zzmatt

    Exactly, there is most likely a cost savings in printing paper and distribution, not to mention less  fuel needed to fly a 5 pnd manual on every plane. Add in the fact that updates can be made instantly and I think this is definitely the correct move regardless of cost.

  • Chad9477

    Most likely they got a bulk purchase discount.

  • Anonymous

    I have been using Air Navigation Standar, and skycharts for over a year now and love it.
    Total-Privacy dot US

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