U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command abruptly cancels iPad 2 order

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


In a surprising announcement, the Air Force Special Operations Command said on Wednesday that it had canceled an order for 2,861 iPad 2 tablets that were slated to be used as electronic flight bags.



Government technology website Nextgov.com reports that the announcement comes two days after the publication queried AFSOC over its inclusion of Russian-developed secure document viewer GoodReader in the outfit's planned iPad 2 flight software suite.



There is no evidence that the software was the cause of the decision to not move forward with the electronic flight bag initiative, however other military officials have chosen not to use Russian software for fear that sensitive data would be compromised.



For example, the Army's smartphone project director, Michael McCarthy, noted that he would not put end users at risk by implementing software developed, maintained and updated in Russia.



AFSOC spokeswoman Capt. Kristen Duncan, said that the command "continues to explore options to develop the electronic flight bag program. We continue to look at each component of the [electronic flight bag] program to ensure we do the right thing for our airmen, don't introduce unnecessary risk into operations and provide the best tools available to conduct the mission."



In a move to replace bulky paper-based flight bags, airlines have been slowly moving toward tablet-based solutions that could save millions of dollars per year in fuel costs. The iPad was approved as an electronic flight bag in 2011, and a handful of carriers have already started to implement the device on the flightdeck.











A basic flight software package needs a document reader that can display navigation charts and flight manuals, with military outlets requiring the addition of encryption as the iPad has not been federally certified to store and transmit information.



GoodReader has proved to be a viable solution as it provides both ease of use and strong data encryption methods.



The software is currently being used in the electronic flight bags of Alaska Airlines pilots, and Delta is expected to use the program when it goes paperless later this year.



In an email exchange with Nextgov, GoodReader's developer Yuri Selukoff took offense to the notion that his software would be a security issue.



"Someone's still living in 1970, aren't they?" Selukoff said. When asked about possible malicious code that could affect mission-critical data, he replied, "what is this offensive and insulting assumption based on? Are there any actual facts or complaints that such thing has ever happened?"



Selukoff pointed out that he is not affiliated with any government body and added that he would be open to any security test if asked.



It remains to be seen if AFSOC's cancellation will affect a decision from the Air Force's Air Mobility Command to order up to 18,000 iPad 2 tablets.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • nerudaneruda Posts: 426member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In a surprising announcement, the Air Force Special Operations Command said on Wednesday that it had canceled an order for 2,861 iPad 2 tablets that were slated to be used as electronic flight bags.



    Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Neruda View Post


    Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps



    Nah, they saw the ABC report and are now looking to sign the petition.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    If I were in charge of the Air Force, I would definitely not use any Russian software, especially when it comes to matters related to security and national defense. A KGB guy is basically running Russia and they are not to be trusted.
  • gariongarion Posts: 62member
    Hey, US AirForce? It's even worse than that! The iPads you've ordered were all built in China! You know ... communist China!



    Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, that's right, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might want to know.



    *salutes and facepalms*
  • boxmaccaryboxmaccary Posts: 146member
    They've opted, instead, for COBY tablets.



    You know -- a penny saved is a penny -- ....



    Yeeeccchhh ....



    Shortsighted dummies ....
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Garion View Post


    Hey, US AirForce? It's even worse than that! The iPads you've ordered were all built in China! You know ... communist China!



    Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, it's true, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might wanna know.



    salutes and rolls eyes



    It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.



    Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.
  • vinitaboyvinitaboy Posts: 156member
    Absolutely SPOT-ON, Neruda. Most of the tech world knows (believes strongly) that iPad 3 is less than two weeks away from announcement/release. Why in the world would the Air Force want a tablet that is about to be "previous-gen"? My experience with government purchasing agencies is that the very TITLE of the iPad 3 requires that the former PO be withdrawn, rewritten, and resubmitted with the NEW identifier . . . iPad 3 instead of iPad 2.
  • cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,085member
    The Right Move.



    No evidence is required when national security is involved.
  • coojocoojo Posts: 7member
    probably like me got galaxy tab 10.1 instead.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    If I were them I?d want custom-developed Air-Force-Only software. Developed under their control and to their specs.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    Absolutely SPOT-ON, Neruda. Most of the tech world knows (believes strongly) that iPad 3 is less than two weeks away from announcement/release. Why in the world would the Air Force want a tablet that is about to be "previous-gen"? My experience with government purchasing agencies is that the very TITLE of the iPad 3 requires that the former PO be withdrawn, rewritten, and resubmitted with the NEW identifier . . . iPad 3 instead of iPad 2.



    It didn't stop the DOD from spec'ing a fairly old Android smartphone (Dell) with an older version of Android (2.2 IIRC) as the only smartphone approved for secure uses. By the time the US Government purchasing wheels get done turning it's nearly certain what was new is now old.



    I personally doubt the rumored impending release of the iPad 3 played a part in the decision to cancel.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    If I were them I?d want custom-developed Air-Force-Only software. Developed under their control and to their specs.



    Then run it on hardware made by Foxconn.
  • fuwafuwafuwafuwa Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Coojo View Post


    probably like me got galaxy tab 10.1 instead.



    It's made in China, but the fake one.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I personally doubt the rumored impending release of the iPad 3 played a part in the decision to cancel.



    I agree. I asked Siri where bin laden was and she gave me a list of texmex joints and a 24 hour fitness. iPad 3 not ready for the Air Force much less the teams.
  • takeotakeo Posts: 407member
    Wow, that logo/crest has some seriously effed up typography.
  • souliisoulsouliisoul Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.



    Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.



    Glad both of you are not involved in any national security for USA. Both paranoid, talk first, think later type people. Your comments are as bad as his.
  • sipadansipadan Posts: 107member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post




    Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.



    Evil. Lol. You mean every country that is not aligned with US policies or way of life is evil, right?

    Good soldier.
  • xavier83xavier83 Posts: 63member
    rounding up thats about 1,500,000...
  • ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    But the DOD still wants to use blackberry. Canadian-born blackberry.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post


    Glad both of you are not involved in any national security for USA. Both paranoid, talk first, think later type people. Your comments are as bad as his.



    It's better to be a tad cautious instead of ignorantly careless when it comes to matters of national security.



    And you're right. Many people can probably be extremely glad that I am not in charge of national security, because things would not be too pleasant for certain types of people.
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