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Air Force Special Operations Cancels Order of iPad 2s

Not too long ago, the Air Force Special Operations announced plans to purchase nearly 3,000 iPad tablets to replace the paper charts and manuals carried by flight crews and trainers of cargo aircraft. However, it seems the powers that be have since changed their minds. According to the latest news, the Air Force has canceled its order.

According to a note added to the Federal Business Opportunities website earlier this month, the plan to acquire the iPad 2s has been axed.

"Solicitation FA0021-12-R-0003 for iPad 2 devices, care plan, and power adapters posted 28 Dec 2011 is here by CANCELED," it reads.

So, why the change of heart? Air Force Special Operations hasn't officially stated a reason for ditching its iPad 2 plans, however, NextGov reports that the decision was made just two days after it questioned the Air Force about its plans to use the GoodReader viewing application. According to the site, the procurement of the iPad 2s specified the use of GoodReader, which was developed by a Russian man by the name of Yuri Selukoff. This has drawn some criticism as some claim it could pose as a potential security threat.

An AFSOC spokeswoman did not confirm that GoodReader was the reason for nixing the project when contacted for comment earlier this week. Instead, she said that the Command continues to explore options to develop the electronic flight bag program, including the possibility of providing tablets in the field.

"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," she said.

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  • southernshark
    They realized they could support more sleazy people by continuing to buy the giant paper manuals every 28 days.
  • djamorpheus
    haha, because it was developed by a russian...
  • builder4
    They have a trillion dollar budget and can't develop their own viewing app?
  • Onus
    Although only a drop in the bucket, hopefully it also reflects, finally, a glimmer of awareness about cost. The US Government has no money, and the American people have no more money to extort; most of "us" have long since abandoned the thrift of our grandparents in favor of debt-fueled Consumerist feeding frenzies.
  • Villers
    The military is no place for a IPad. A fragile consumer device with potential security holes is just a bad idea. if they need to read manuals then they need to develop their own military e-ink reader or something.

    Imagine these guys flying a aircraft and need to find something in the manual, they hit some turbulence and oops dropped the ipad and broke the screen, now what.

    I don't feel comfortable knowing that there is someone who thought this was a good idea protecting our country.
  • shardey
    It's obvious that they want to wait for the iPad 3!

    At least I would wait to purchase 3k units.
  • guruofchem
    VillersI don't feel comfortable knowing that there is someone who thought this was a good idea protecting our country.
    Hear, hear. I'm all for increasing efficiency through appropriate usage of technology, but can we get someone with at least half a brain to make decisions? Maybe if you salvaged all the neurons in Congress, you'd have enough to make half a good brain, which could then be loaned to the Pentagon...
  • ap3x
    builder4They have a trillion dollar budget and can't develop their own viewing app?
    Exactly..The fact that they made canceled a major purchase due to software being written by a foreign country is not surprising though. It happens all the time. There are certain firewall vendors that are not used in a large part of the Fed Government specifically because it is written by a foreign company. So it is understandable that they would not want to use a application that opens sensitive documents that was written by Russia. I see this kind of thing all the time and even with applications written by allies.
  • ^^ Dude, app was created by a russian man, programmer - developer like hundreds of thousands other in the appstore of Apple's, not Russia (gov. / military / whatever)...

    I do however agree with the "trillion dollar budget" comment.
  • memadmax
    Everything made by apple is a "security threat"....