U.S. Air Force May Purchase 18,000 iPads

The United States Air Force is looking at the latest tablet technology for possible deployment. As a result, the Air Force may soon place a massive order with the world’s leading tablet maker.

On Wednesday, reports surfaced that the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command – the organization responsible for transporting troops and equipment – may purchase approximately 18,000 Apple iPads.

Similar to how many commercial airline pilots have been cleared to use iPads as flight manuals, the Air Force wants to begin eliminating paper charts and flight manuals.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Martin says that “moving from a paper-based to an electronically based flight publication system will not only enhance operational effectiveness, it can also save the Department of Defense time and money.”

Prior to this week’s iPad tidbit, the Air Force Special Operations Command recently stated intentions to buy 2,861 iPads to serve as “electronic flight bags” for its crews.

Before the tablet can be procured by the Air Force, however, Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, must first be given security certification from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. And there’s no telling how long that certification process might take.