Air Force Expects to Save Over $50 Million in 10 Years by Using iPads
May 17, 2013 12:26 PM
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It will save $5.7 million annually
The U.S. Air Force is
making use of iPads
instead of heavy flight manuals, and it's saving quite a bit of money in doing so.
The Air Force said it would save over $50 million in the next 10 years thanks to its recent deployment of iPads. The iPads eliminate the need to print thousands of flights manuals on paper, which proves to be heavy on planes.
According to Major Brian Moritz, Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program manager, removing all of the paper alone results in $750,000 in fuel savings annually (since the extra weight requires extra fuel). Weight varies from 250 pounds in a four-person C-17 up to 490 pounds in a C-5 with 10 crewmembers.
Add this to print and distribution costs, and Moritz said the Air Force is saving $5.7 million per year with the iPads. This equates to over $50 million in a 10-year period.
The Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC) scored a $9.36 million contract to deploy 18,000 iPads. Today, AMC aircrews are using about 16,000 of those iPads while the other 2,000 are being distributed amongst other Air Force units.
Aside from just cost savings, the iPads also prove to be helpful in finding information quickly. The keyword search alone helps pilots work more efficiently in emergency situations instead of searching through dense manuals.
Apple has been working its way into the military through more than just iPads, though (and to more branches than just the Air Force). In March of this year, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) planned to
purchase 650,000 iOS devices
. This included 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod Touches, and over 20,000 iPhones.
The purchase was to replace old BlackBerry handsets.
Earlier this month, the DOD
approved the use of Samsung smartphones
running a secure version of Android called Knox. Other versions of Android and Apple's iOS are currently awaiting approval as well. These decisions are expected to be made by the end of May.
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5/17/2013 2:43:07 PM
Agreed. And I don't say that just because Apple makes overpriced crap (which it does). I feel that something on the order of Android needs to become the backbone of the DOD's increasingly tech-heavy force. Pushing for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)
has proven quite effective in saving money. Let's go one step further and go with COTS (read: open-source)
Right now, the DOD is running on an eclectic mix of XP, Vista, 7, Linux, Unix, and I believe even DOS (I'm looking at you, 1970's AWACS system). Rather than trying to push for a military-only spec system, migrating to a system where there is broad-based support, unity of programming, and unlimited 3rd party support--will prove to be a dramatic cost-saving measure. It will also make security updates much more efficient, and provide a higher degree of cyberspace control over our own systems.
I say "no" to the iPad plan because I see MORE future potential than just pubs and maps. I see interoperability (plug-in) with airframes/cockpits. I see potential for storing/carrying classified information like daily codewords, authentication tables, etc--all stuff that is also carried by pilots. I see potential for retro-fitted JTIDS read-only displays for tactical assets not otherwise equipped.
Going the Apple route on this is a dead-end of BIBLICAL proportions.
5/17/2013 9:46:26 PM
I could see the DoD making a linux distro akin to Scientific Linux and using that base to create builds for specific devices. Not Android though, for what you are proposing the DoD would have to have control of the entire stack.
5/18/2013 5:53:02 AM
Well since the bible is a work of fiction I'd simply retort that by saying you're a fucking idiot.
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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