The U.S. Air Force has been awarded $9.36 million contract to purchase up to 18,000 32GB iPad 2‘s. Air Mobility Command plans to use the iPad’s as digital manuals and navigation charts for aircraft pilots and crews.
This is one of the military’s largest orders of computer tablets to date.
According to to an email received by Bloomberg from military spokeswoman Captian Kathleen Ferrero :
“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight. The so-called electronic flight bags will help crews operate more effectively and safely, and support the Pentagon’s efficiency goals, she said.
The actual final amount of iPad’s the Air Force purchases will depend on funding.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll purchase all 18,000,” said Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a military spokeswoman. “It’s contingent upon funding requests and approval.”
The Air Force didn’t specifically target Apple’s iPad either. They received 24 proposals from other companies. The Air Force selected Apple because they will be getting roughly a $70 discount per iPad of the 32GB model.