The Air Force Special Operations Command has cancelled its planned procurement of nearly 3,000 iPad 2s, according to government journal Nextgov. The tablets were to be used as electronic flight bags, storing digital version of paper charts and technical manuals for aircraft pilots.
The group has not officially explained the reason why it cancelled the plan to acquire 2,861 iPad 2 tablets, although reports would suggest there being some unease over security.
The plan was initiated in January, and the tablets were set to feature the GoodReader document reading app, developed by Moscow-based Good.iWare, and which is already reported to be used by Alaska Airlines and, in the near future, Delta Air Lines. However, Michael McCarthy, director of the Army’s smartphone project, ‘Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications’, told Nextgov that they would not be using software developed in Russia, because of potential security risks.
A spokesman for the US Air Force has reiterated that the group does still plan to explore new options to develop an electronic flight bag program, and added that pushing tablets into the military field remains a high priority.
Just three weeks ago, the Air Force’s Air Mobile Command (AMC) revealed that it planned to acquire as many as 18,000 iPad 2s for use by the US Air Force.