After commenting openly that it was planning to buy a whole lot of iPads 2, the US Air Force Special Operations Command doesn’t seem so sure of its order anymore. Reportedly it has changed its mind completely. Now we are hearing reports that the Air Force actually completely axed its planned acquisitions from Apple. What happened here? Who hijacked the plan? Well it turns out that the Russians did.
Nextgov apparently had a hand in this and is responsible for raising questions about the including of a special Russian-developed security and document reader software, which comes up in a couple of procurement documents. The original plan consisted in the Air Force acquiring 2,861 iPad 2 tablets to serve as electronic flight bags that were supposed to store up digital version of paper charts and technical manuals. But there were certain requirements the devices were required to meet. Like the presence of a type of GoogleReader software developed in Russia. It turns out this was the Achilles’ heel for the acquisition.
Michael McCarthy who’s a director of the Army’s smartphone project, entitled Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications responded to Nextgov’s growing body of enquires by stating that they do not want to use the software from Russia due to potential risk. Bernie Skoch, who used to be a brigadier general but is now retired and acts as an industry consultant now, backs the statement up. He admits that every line of source code must be examined in order to ensure there’s no malicious code inside. The lack to think about potential threats might bring very grave consequences.
Even so, the Special Force continues to search for alternatives. Capt. Kristen Duncan who’s and AFSOC spokeswoman stated that the force continues to look at each component of the program in order to make sure that the best choice is being opted for, while aborting all unnecessary risks.