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U.S. Department of Defense Approves iOS 6 Devices for Military Networks

air_force_ipadFollowing a report from earlier this month indicating that the U.S. Department of Defense was preparing to approve Apple devices running iOS 6 for use on military networks, Bloomberg now reports that the department has officially issued the authorization, opening the door for greater use of Apple's products.
The Defense Department said in a statement today that it has approved the use of Cupertino, California-based Apple’s products running a version of the iOS 6 mobile platform.

The decision eventually may spur a three-way fight for a market long dominated by Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry. The Pentagon on May 2 approved Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung’s devices, as well as BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
The report notes that out of more than 600,000 mobile devices used by the Defense Department, only about 41,000 of those are Apple products, with most of those not connected directly to the military's networks. With the new approvals, Apple and Samsung are expected to eat into BlackBerry's roughly 75% share of mobile devices within the agency.

As noted in the report earlier this month, the Department of Defense's approval of iOS 6 devices for sensitive applications is expected to have impact beyond the military, with other businesses requiring strict security standards becoming more likely to embrace Apple's products.

Pentagon approval for iOS 6 devices comes just as The Street reports that the U.S. Air Force is expecting to save more than $50 million over ten years following last year's decision to replace thousands of pages of flight manuals with iPads.
"By removing all that paper, [Air Mobility Command] will capture about $750,000 in fuel savings [annually] just based off the decreased weight," said [electronic flight bag program manager Major Brian] Moritz.

Removing the need to print and distribute thousands of flight manuals, however, equates to an even greater cost saving. "It comes out to just over $5 million a year," noted Moritz. "With fuel savings, it comes out to $5.7 million annually in pure cost. When you look at $5.7 million a year, over 10 years, that's well over $50 million."
The Air Force is not the only group switching to iPads to replace traditional flight bags used by pilots, as a number of commercial airlines have also begun transitioning to the technology in order to reduce weight and therefore fuel costs, as well as lighten loads for the pilots themselves.

Update: Apple has provided a comment on the Pentagon approval to AllThingsD:
“With iPhone and iPad being tested or deployed in almost every Fortune 500 company, Apple continues to scale across enterprise with nearly 30,000 companies globally developing and distributing iOS apps for corporate use by their employees,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “The FIPS 140-2 certification and STIG approval demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver a secure platform to our enterprise and government customers around the world who deploy iOS devices on their networks.”
(Photo: James Rogers/The Street)

Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
So if we lose the nuke codes, it's cool, they're in the cloud.
Rating: 12 Votes
21 months ago

So if we lose the nuke codes, it's cool, they're in the cloud.

The mushroom iCloud.
Rating: 7 Votes
21 months ago

Look how ancient everything else in that photo is.
MILITARY!


it works, unlike half the tech floating around today

new isnt always best, you realize, esp when its full of software/hardware bugs
Rating: 6 Votes
21 months ago
Just in time for iOS7. Yup, sounds about right.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago
yes but paper is impervious to EMP attacks / lighting striking a plane

good luck with your flash storage :confused:
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

yes but paper is impervious to EMP attacks / lighting striking a plane

good luck with your flash storage :confused:


If you are sitting in an aircraft when you get hit by an EMP big enough to take out you iPad, then not being able to look something up because you don‘t have paper manuals is the LEAST of your worries.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

"By removing all that paper, [Air Mobility Command] will capture about $750,000 in fuel savings [annually] just based off the decreased weight," said [electronic flight bag program manager Major Brian] Moritz.


Typical.... USAF spend $1.5 billon on just one stealth bomber and quibble about a mere $750,000 total fuel saving... ;)
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago

You accidentally what?

This was bound to happen and it's a good step for Apple.


Welcome to the internet. Please enjoy your stay.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-accidentally
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago

Hoping someone here might be a pilot or might know a pilot they can ask and have this question answered:

How many of those papers have you actually read in the air, personally? Can you estimate how many of those papers anyone has ever or will ever read while in the air?

It just seems to me that it's impossible to realistically need so much information with you and that having it all in book form is really that useful, but I have no experience with this stuff so I'd like to hear from someone who knows.


The problem is that you never know when you might need them...emergency, divert, etc. Trust me, everything that is carried is needed whether it's a flight manual or an approach plate. On any given mission we could be re-cut in flight to be sent anywhere. Not having the proper pubs on board would hamper that capability especially in the airlift community. Not so much in the fighter world.

The Air Force has been testing iPads in the cockpit for quite some time now. Where it gets complicated is that an iPad is a very significant weakness that can be exploited by both state and non-state actors. Unfortunately, as with so many things in the DoD, what started out as a good idea has turned into a complete mess. The Air Force saw a great way to save money by having an EFB like the iPad, but didn't think it all the way through. What if it's compromised? Now you have an iPad with a camera on it in a potentially sensitive environment.

The AF made a big mistake going with Apple on this one. All that was really needed was an e-reader with PDF capability.
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago

That iPads will save money is very short sighted. How much in IT contractor costs does it cost to maintain 50 pages of paper? How about thousands of iPads? Does 50 pages of paper crack when you accidentally drop 50 kgs of luggage on top of it? As for energy, 50 pages of paper doesn't cost anything to charge, iPads do. What happens when your much needed iPad runs out of battery? How much will the emergency back-up iPad cost or will there just be a back-up paper file anyways?

I work for the Feds and see the waste firsthand on a daily basis. This is just more govt waste.


I used to be the technical manual distribution officer in my last duty station in the Air Force, and a heavy aircraft maintainer for 15 years. Our squadron had to maintain over 3500 technical manuals, getting multiple changes for each book every week. Inventory, proper insertion of changes, inspections, etc was an enormous time suck. Digital distribution cuts that to zero. Our maintenance personnel had to carry a 75 lb technical manual box for doing work on the flightline. Entire libraries were maintained on each aircraft in our squadron, in addition to the libraries maintained in the maintenance building for individual sign outs, deployment kits, and the like.

I'd take an iPad in a heartbeat. The government is actually being smart here, for a change. I don't have to hold a flashlight to use the device in the dark, I can send images or video of a discrepancy in motion to engineers from a forward deployed location, I have the entire aircraft tech manual library in one device. I can take time for completed discrepancies on the flightline, send emails, order parts, I can charge the device from the plane itself, etc.

The iPad is PERFECT for military use (I'd chosen the mini, though). Hell, 2 ipads would be a HUGE savings over all that damn paper (and the time it takes to maintain it).
Rating: 3 Votes

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