The Air Force has moved forward with plans to provide its aircrews with tablets as it awarded a $9.36 million contract for 18,000 iPads Thursday, Bloomberg reports.
The Air Force awarded the contract to Phoenix-based Executive Technology Inc. in one of the largest military tablet procurements, according to Bloomberg.
The Air Force is following commercial airlines’ lead and practice using tablets in order to replace paper manual and navigation charts.
The Air Force issued a notice in December expressing interest in acquiring iPads for its aircrews.
Ferrero told Bloomberg the iPad 2 tablets will aid crews to more effectively and safely support the Pentagon“™s efficiency goals.
Ferrero added that although the contract was for as many as 18,000 units, it does not mean that all units will be purchased.
The Air Force will determine the number of tablets to purchase on on funding requests and approval.
The Air Force previously purchased 63 iPad 2s from Executive Technology, Ferrero said.
The devices will be delivered within 30 days and will then undergo testing.
The retail price for iPad 2 units is $599 a unit and Executive Technology Inc. offered the tablets for $520.