BELLEVILLE, USA – A $9.36m contract has been awarded by the USA Air Force Air Mobility Command to Executive Technology Inc, a Pheonix-based computer service company, to acquire 18 000 iPad 2 tablets.
This is regarded as the first step of Air Force to displace the current paper-based flight bags in favor of electronic flight bags (EFB).
According to Captain Kathleen Ferrero, the military spokeswoman, Apple's 32GB Wi-Fi version tablets will be used as EFBs. She further reported that 63 units, already been bought for test purpose, will arrive by the of the month. This contract came with a significant discount as the tablet's retail price was dropped from $599 to $520.
Though the contract is set for the purchase of 18 000 iPad 2 tablets over a period of one year, it is liable to “funding requests and approval” which does not bound AMC to buy every unit.
Tablets based EFBs are said to save fuel costs besides improvement in efficiency and effective operations in contrast to traditional flight bags which comprise heavy manuals, maps and charts.