Military unit will replace paper manuals and navigational charts with up to 18,000 iPads or other tablet devices.
10 Great iPad Apps From Uncle Sam
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Air Mobility Command is the second Air Force unit to replace paper-based flight information manuals with tablet devices.
The command, which provides global air mobility, cargo delivery, and humanitarian support, aims to secure between 63 and 18,000 tablet devices to serve as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) for flight crew members and trainers, according to a post on FedBizOpps.gov and first reported by NextGov. EFBs are devices to replace the paper materials found in an airline pilot's crew bag, which include operating manuals and navigational charts.
An Air Force spokesperson declined to comment on the wide range in the number of devices the military arm plans to procure, saying only it was related to distribution of the tablets and that a full request for proposal (RFP) for the procurement would be available soon, most likely in the next week.
He also would not disclose the size of the award, referring to the forthcoming RFP for that information.
Last month in a similar move, the Air Force Special Operations Command said it would procure 2,861 black iPad 2 devices from an authorized Apple reseller to maintain and update the Department of Defense's Flight Information Publications (FLIP) electronically as a cost-cutting measure.
IPad 2s are one of the options for the Air Mobility Command procurement, although it also said it would consider "brand name or equal" devices as long as they are new items supported by a manufacturer's warranty and not from the gray market, according to the presolicitation.
The unit will award a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract to a single vendor to fulfill the procurement.
The Air Force's moves to electronic manuals follow the aviation industry, which has begun to do so after the Federal Aviation Administration in December approved iPads for use in the cockpit during commercial flights.
They also bolster military-wide moves to increasingly approve tablet devices for use to support broader access to applications. The Department of Defense recently approved a version of the Android OS running on a Dell Streak 5 tablet for use across the department and will begin distributing them this year.
InformationWeek's 2012 Government IT Innovators program will feature the most innovative government IT organizations in the 2012 InformationWeek 500 issue and on InformationWeek.com. Does your organization have what it takes? The nomination period for 2012 Government IT Innovators closes April 27.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.