US Air Force to buy as many as 18,000 iPads

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to a Phoenix-based computer services company which will use the money to purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2 units. Bloomberg reports that the Air Force is purchasing 32GB Wi-Fi models, which will be used as replacements for paper manuals and navigation charts used by pilots and navigators. “Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” said military spokeswoman Captain Kathleen Ferrero. The contract allows for the purchase of as many as 18,000 units within the next year, although the final total will be “contingent upon funding requests and approval”.

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