Jul 20 2016

Air Force Partners with Samsung as Tablets Take Over in Rugged Environments

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 will help Air Force personnel with maintenance and digitized technical orders, and represents a shift away from notebooks.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is teaming up with multinational electronics giant Samsung Electronics to deploy their ruggedized tablets for flight line use and logistical operations, endorsing the tablets over bulkier notebooks that have been used for similar tasks.

The “flight line” refers to the area of an airfield, specifically parking areas and maintenance hangars, where aircraft are onloaded, offloaded and serviced.

Earlier this month Samsung announced the contract award from the Air Force, and said the Galaxy Tab S2 tablets would be delivered to to U.S. air bases bases worldwide. Samsung said the USAF certified the tablet for flight line use after subjecting it to a “number of rigorous hardware tests and strict software standards.”

In order to be certified for the Air Force’s e-Tools program — an online system for purchasing IT products and services — the USAF subjected the Galaxy Tab S2 to multiple decompression, atmospheric and temperature tests, according to Samsung.

Air Force Goes for a Rugged and Efficient Solution

Samsung claims that by selecting the Galaxy Tab S2, the Air Force will be able cut costs and save money by reducing the number of ruggedized notebooks that were originally required to access over 2,000 technical orders. These orders enable maintenance personnel to launch, recover and maintain aircraft assets.

It’s unclear how much money the USAF will save or how many notebooks will be replaced by the tablets as a result of the partnership.

The Galaxy Tab S2 will give USAF technicians a single point of access to digitized technical orders, manuals and parts databases that will help streamline maintenance operations and troubleshoot aircraft repairs, Samsung says.

Additionally, technicians can use the tablets to deliver paperless technical orders, process real-time maintenance data collection and securely access the Air Force Enhanced Technical Information Management System (ETIMS) portal. Technicians will subsequently be able to more easily access USAF technical orders — the documents that lay out processes for using and maintaining a system.

As FedScoop notes, the Tab S2 comes with Samsung KNOX, "a mobile security program fully approved by the National Security Agency."

“Security is paramount to government agencies and the Galaxy Tab S2 was engineered with the needs of the U.S. Air Force in mind, from meeting strict security and network compatibility requirements with our defense-grade Samsung KNOX platform to durability, quality and TAA-compliance,” John Curtis, vice president of sales at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement.

Senior Airman Corey Hook, U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

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