U.S. Air Force backs off plans to focus exclusively on Apple iPad for electronic flight bags

“The Air Force Special Operations Command has backed off plans to focus exclusively on Apple iPad tablet computers to equip its flight crews with electronic flight bags that hold digital maps and technical manuals,” Bob Brewin reports for Nextgov.
“In December 2011, the command said in a contract justification and approval notice that only iPads met its requirements to provide tablet computers to 2,861 crew members,” Brewin reports. “A three-month test last year showed that the iPad “outmatched all peer competitors — not only meeting but exceeding AFSOC mission specifications.”

Brewin reports, “Maj. Kristi Beckman, a command spokeswoman, told Nextgov in an email that the command has now decided to take a more open approach to its tablet procurement. ‘During our initial evaluation, the iPad was the best available commercial off-the-shelf product for our needs. We are, however, platform agnostic and fully expect improvements across the commercial market to develop in a variety of areas that will increase our capabilities,’ she wrote.”

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