“When Marines are in a firefight in Afghanistan and need back up, they call in helicopters to blast the enemy from the sky,” Mark Riffee reports for Wired. “Sounds simple enough, but it’s not — according to current standard operating procedures for close-air strikes, ground troops radio coordinates to a pilot who then has to rifle through 60 to 80 pounds of maps to find the building he’s supposed to hit. Radio signals cut out, coordinates get jumbled and, even with half a grown man’s weight in maps in the cockpit, sometimes the pilot doesn’t have a detailed image of the target area. But this may all change soon.”
“The Marines recently took a baby step towards a more efficient future when the 3rd Aircraft Wing bought 32 iPads,” Riffee reports. “The total purchase — not quite $20,000 worth of tablets and accessories, according to Defense News — was merely ‘a hiccup in the grand scheme of defense spending,’ a former deputy G-3 for operations pointed out. But it could be a crucial advance in aerial warfare.”
Riffee reports, “Software developers have already come up with a variety of apps geared toward military efficacy, including a few that can differentiate friendlies from insurgents, and Darpa is hard at work on a way to keep smart devices powered-up during lengthy missions.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]