US Airforce: 18,000 iPads for pilots

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Helpful Harry, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. 25,000 iPads / iPod Touches for Texas schools, now another 18,000 iPads
    for the US Air Force (plus the previous possibility of use by commercial
    pilots), release of the iPad 3 ... if you haven't already got Apple stock,
    it could be a good time to buy some.


    MacRumours.com:

    US Air Force Agrees to Purchase $9 Million Worth of iPads
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to
    purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2s, according to Bloomberg.
    The plan is to replace bulky and heavy flight bags full of
    navigational charts and other materials with iPads in order
    to reduce the weight of pilots' bags and save fuel on
    flights.

    The Air Mobility Command, which is purchasing the iPads,
    provides transport and refueling services using C-5, C-17,
    and C-130 cargo planes, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.

    A number of airlines have begun testing iPads to replace
    heavy flight bags, including United, Delta, American, and
    the Marine Corps.

    The iPads will streamline pilots' work by eliminating the
    need for thumbing through sheafs of paper or waiting for
    pages to print. The iPads will reduce clutter on cramped
    flight decks and offer quick and easy access to required
    data at all times.




    Helpful Harry :eek:)
     
    Helpful Harry, Mar 2, 2012
    #1
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  2. Helpful Harry

    Alan Guest

    Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    "clean."


    --
    Alan
     
    Alan, Mar 2, 2012
    #2
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  3. On Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:31:14 -0600, Alan <>
    wrote:

    >Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    >whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    >"clean."


    What kinds of vulnerabilities are you contemplating? Not being able
    to read a critical manual while at war?

    --
    "In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
    than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
    to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

    - James Madison
     
    Howard Brazee, Mar 2, 2012
    #3
  4. Helpful Harry

    News Guest

    On 3/2/2012 5:32 PM, Howard Brazee wrote:
    > On Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:31:14 -0600, Alan<>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    >> whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    >> "clean."

    >
    > What kinds of vulnerabilities are you contemplating? Not being able
    > to read a critical manual while at war?
    >


    Air Force Cancels iPad Order Amid Fear of Russian Software

    February 22, 2012

    A few weeks ago, PadGadget reported on information that the United
    States Air force was considering purchasing 18,000 iPad 2 tablets.
    Today, NextGov has reported that the Special Operations Command has
    canceled its plans, possibly due to the inclusion of Russian developed
    security and documents reader software, GoodReader.

    A few days ago, NextGov wrote an article about GoodReader and the Air
    Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC’s) decision to include the
    Russian developed application in its “Electronic Flight Bag” program.

    According to the article, Michael McCarthy, director of the Army’s
    smartphone project, Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications openly
    questioned the AFSOC’s plan. McCarthy said he was concerned about the
    integrity of the supply chain with GoodReader. Apparently, McCarthy
    wasn’t the only one to voice a negative opinion about the use of
    GoodReader in military applications.

    Despite the enthusiastic reviews and the software’s ability to encrypt
    data at rest, present and former military officials question why AFSOC,
    which operates a fleet of specialized gunships and surveillance
    aircraft, would allow its pilots to rely on software developed in Russia.

    http://www.padgadget.com/2012/02/22/air-force-cancels-ipad-order-amid-fear-of-russian-software/
     
    News, Mar 2, 2012
    #4
  5. Helpful Harry

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 03-02-2012 17:44, News wrote:
    > Despite the enthusiastic reviews and the software’s ability to encrypt
    > data at rest, present and former military officials question why AFSOC,
    > which operates a fleet of specialized gunships and surveillance
    > aircraft, would allow its pilots to rely on software developed in Russia.


    I don't blame them for being cautious, but they were considering buying
    an internet-capable device assembled in China which contains two
    cameras, a microphone, a Bluetooth rerasceiver, an 802.11 transceiver,
    a GPS, .....

    --
    Wes Groleau

    Don't worry about the bullets you hear passing overhead.
    Worry about the ones you don't hear.
    — J. R. Stevens
     
    Wes Groleau, Mar 3, 2012
    #5
  6. In article <jis3rk$f6n$>, wrote:

    > On 03-02-2012 17:44, News wrote:
    > > Despite the enthusiastic reviews and the software’s ability to encrypt
    > > data at rest, present and former military officials question why AFSOC,
    > > which operates a fleet of specialized gunships and surveillance
    > > aircraft, would allow its pilots to rely on software developed in Russia.

    >
    > I don't blame them for being cautious, but they were considering buying
    > an internet-capable device assembled in China which contains two
    > cameras, a microphone, a Bluetooth rerasceiver, an 802.11 transceiver,
    > a GPS, .....


    They could always get one built in Brazil instead. ;o)

    Mind you, when the other choices are powered by Windows and Android ...

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
     
    Helpful Harry, Mar 3, 2012
    #6
  7. Helpful Harry

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    > Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    > whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    > "clean."


    These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    --
    "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.
    I said I didn't know."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 3, 2012
    #7
  8. Helpful Harry

    Fred Moore Guest

    In article <>,
    Alan Browne <> wrote:

    > On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    > > Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    > > whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    > > "clean."

    >
    > These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.


    "cockpit manuals and navigation" can easily contain "military secrets".

    Q: 'Okay, how do I arm, aim, and fire this nuclear-tipped missle from my
    B-2?'
     
    Fred Moore, Mar 3, 2012
    #8
  9. Helpful Harry

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 03-02-2012 23:11, Helpful Harry wrote:
    > In article<jis3rk$f6n$>, wrote:
    >> On 03-02-2012 17:44, News wrote:
    >>> Despite the enthusiastic reviews and the software’s ability to encrypt
    >>> data at rest, present and former military officials question why AFSOC,
    >>> which operates a fleet of specialized gunships and surveillance
    >>> aircraft, would allow its pilots to rely on software developed in Russia.

    >>
    >> I don't blame them for being cautious, but they were considering buying
    >> an internet-capable device assembled in China which contains two
    >> cameras, a microphone, a Bluetooth rerasceiver, an 802.11 transceiver,
    >> a GPS, .....

    >
    > They could always get one built in Brazil instead. ;o)
    >
    > Mind you, when the other choices are powered by Windows and Android ...


    Or they could issue yet another defense contract to have custom units at
    $1000 each.

    When I was in the Navy, I used two types of multimeters, the militarized
    AN/PSM-4 and the mass-market Simpson 260.

    When someone asked me the difference, I said. "If you hold both
    shoulder height and let go, the AN/PSM-4's case will not crack.
    And the Simpson will still work."

    --
    Wes Groleau

    It seems a pity that psychology should have
    destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.
    — G. K. Chesterton
     
    Wes Groleau, Mar 3, 2012
    #9
  10. Helpful Harry

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 03-03-2012 09:50, Alan Browne wrote:
    > On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    >> Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    >> whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    >> "clean."

    >
    > These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.


    What else is in the cockpit? Anything using 802.11 or Bluetooth that
    could be intercepted and analyzed for clues?

    Anything we don't want a camera aimed at that could be analyzed for clues?

    How about sending some unauthorized entity a record of the GPS fixes of
    the aircraft?

    How about recording the conversations in the cockpit?

    --
    Wes Groleau

    It seems a pity that psychology should have
    destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.
    — G. K. Chesterton
     
    Wes Groleau, Mar 3, 2012
    #10
  11. Helpful Harry

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-03-03 11:38 , Fred Moore wrote:
    > In article<>,
    > Alan Browne<> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    >>> Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    >>> whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    >>> "clean."

    >>
    >> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >
    > "cockpit manuals and navigation" can easily contain "military secrets".
    >
    > Q: 'Okay, how do I arm, aim, and fire this nuclear-tipped missle from my
    > B-2?'


    The simple fact of the matter is that the aircraft in question [1] are
    logistical (transport, refueling) and that they spend most of their
    flight time under civilian airspace control nationally and
    internationally.

    That means they not only carry all that navigation information
    (terminal, approach, enroute) but the aircraft procedures manuals (from
    normal to emergency) as well. There are no state/military secrets
    there, never mind tactical/strategic operational procedures.

    ie: The weapons systems are not part of this package (if I needed to
    make that clear).

    [1] C-5, C-17, and C-130 cargo planes, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.
    -from the OP text.

    --
    "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.
    I said I didn't know."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 3, 2012
    #11
  12. Helpful Harry

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-03-03 12:00 , Wes Groleau wrote:
    > On 03-03-2012 09:50, Alan Browne wrote:
    >> On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    >>> Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    >>> whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    >>> "clean."

    >>
    >> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >
    > What else is in the cockpit? Anything using 802.11 or Bluetooth that
    > could be intercepted and analyzed for clues?
    >
    > Anything we don't want a camera aimed at that could be analyzed for clues?


    Not much in the stated aircraft. They are more like airline cockpits
    than bomber/fighter cockpits.

    For that matter, the web is ripe with photos of cockpits from military
    aircraft (tactical as well as logistical).

    Text of OP: C-5, C-17, and C-130 cargo planes, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.

    > How about sending some unauthorized entity a record of the GPS fixes of
    > the aircraft?


    Since the purpose of the iPads in this context is flight under national
    and international civil ATC, the information is available from a cheap
    radio scanner (if you know what to listen for).

    IAC, the location function of the iPad can be turned off.

    > How about recording the conversations in the cockpit?


    All facilities easily turned off or otherwise defeated.

    Stretch it all you like it won't ... fly.

    The real risk here is that there are two pilots in the crew and they
    both have their iPads fail in the same flight and nobody brought the
    paper charts. It's very embarrassing to ask the current controller or
    to get on guard (121.5/243) to state you need vectors, VOR/ILS
    frequencies, ATIS/ARR/tower/grnd freqs, etc. (Though up to date
    transport cockpits have FMS' with all/most of this info anyway).

    --
    "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.
    I said I didn't know."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 3, 2012
    #12
  13. In article <-september.org>, Fred
    Moore <> wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Alan Browne <> wrote:
    > > On 2012-03-02 17:31 , Alan wrote:
    > > > Given where they are built, there is some really careful consideration
    > > > whether we want so much of our operations dependent on them being
    > > > "clean."

    > >
    > > These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >
    > "cockpit manuals and navigation" can easily contain "military secrets".
    >
    > Q: 'Okay, how do I arm, aim, and fire this nuclear-tipped missle from my
    > B-2?'


    Two phrases spring to mind:

    - Google is your friend. ;o)

    - There's an app for that. ;o)

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
     
    Helpful Harry, Mar 3, 2012
    #13
  14. In article <jiti64$vhs$>, wrote:
    > On 03-02-2012 23:11, Helpful Harry wrote:
    > > In article<jis3rk$f6n$>, wrote:
    > >> On 03-02-2012 17:44, News wrote:
    > >>> Despite the enthusiastic reviews and the software’s ability to encrypt
    > >>> data at rest, present and former military officials question why AFSOC,
    > >>> which operates a fleet of specialized gunships and surveillance
    > >>> aircraft, would allow its pilots to rely on software developed in Russia.
    > >>
    > >> I don't blame them for being cautious, but they were considering buying
    > >> an internet-capable device assembled in China which contains two
    > >> cameras, a microphone, a Bluetooth rerasceiver, an 802.11 transceiver,
    > >> a GPS, .....

    > >
    > > They could always get one built in Brazil instead. ;o)
    > >
    > > Mind you, when the other choices are powered by Windows and Android ...

    >
    > Or they could issue yet another defense contract to have custom units at
    > $1000 each.
    >
    > When I was in the Navy, I used two types of multimeters, the militarized
    > AN/PSM-4 and the mass-market Simpson 260.
    >
    > When someone asked me the difference, I said. "If you hold both
    > shoulder height and let go, the AN/PSM-4's case will not crack.
    > And the Simpson will still work."


    Since it is basically a government department, they'll probably commission
    multiple over-priced "expert" reports to look into all the alternatives
    .... and then decide that the best option is either staying with the
    current method OR buying the most expensive option (which just happens to
    be run by the "expert's" / General's brother's wife's cousin's dogwalkers'
    plumber's auntie and the "expert" / General gets a large "finder's fee" in
    return).

    Helpful Harry :eek:)
     
    Helpful Harry, Mar 3, 2012
    #14
  15. On Sat, 03 Mar 2012 11:38:07 -0500, Fred Moore <>
    wrote:

    >> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >
    >"cockpit manuals and navigation" can easily contain "military secrets".


    So could paper copies. But they don't have to.

    --
    "In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
    than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
    to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

    - James Madison
     
    Howard Brazee, Mar 3, 2012
    #15
  16. Helpful Harry

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 03-03-2012 12:55, Alan Browne wrote:
    > On 2012-03-03 12:00 , Wes Groleau wrote:
    >> On 03-03-2012 09:50, Alan Browne wrote:
    >>> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >>
    >> What else is in the cockpit? Anything using 802.11 or Bluetooth that
    >> could be intercepted and analyzed for clues?
    >>
    >> Anything we don't want a camera aimed at that could be analyzed for
    >> clues?

    >
    > Not much in the stated aircraft. They are more like airline cockpits
    > than bomber/fighter cockpits.


    Fair enough.

    > For that matter, the web is ripe with photos of cockpits from military
    > aircraft (tactical as well as logistical).


    Usually taken with the knowledge of the military who have ensured things
    that don't belong online have been properly stowed.

    >> How about sending some unauthorized entity a record of the GPS fixes of
    >> the aircraft?

    >
    > Since the purpose of the iPads in this context is flight under national
    > and international civil ATC, the information is available from a cheap
    > radio scanner (if you know what to listen for).


    How does a radio scanner access the GPS chips in the iPad? (Actually, I
    suppose they would not be buying the GPS model for this purpose)

    > IAC, the location function of the iPad can be turned off.


    Not if, as has been suggested, the firmware has been tampered with
    during manufacturing. Remember the recent comment about the Chamber of
    Commerce find a thermostat sending IP packetes to China?

    >> How about recording the conversations in the cockpit?

    >
    > All facilities easily turned off or otherwise defeated.


    If the iPad works as Apple intends. I'm talking about the possibility
    of a "back door" intentionally put in during manufacture. Someone
    worried about the security of an app from another country. I'm saying,
    heck the whole device is from another country.

    --
    Wes Groleau

    It seems a pity that psychology should have
    destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.
    — G. K. Chesterton
     
    Wes Groleau, Mar 4, 2012
    #16
  17. Helpful Harry

    George Kerby Guest

    On 3/3/12 4:05 PM, in article ,
    "Howard Brazee" <> wrote:

    > On Sat, 03 Mar 2012 11:38:07 -0500, Fred Moore <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.

    >>
    >> "cockpit manuals and navigation" can easily contain "military secrets".

    >
    > So could paper copies. But they don't have to.


    What about Qurans?
     
    George Kerby, Mar 4, 2012
    #17
  18. Helpful Harry

    Brian Guest

    Helpful Harry <> wrote:
    > 25,000 iPads / iPod Touches for Texas schools, now another 18,000 iPads
    > for the US Air Force (plus the previous possibility of use by commercial
    > pilots), release of the iPad 3 ... if you haven't already got Apple stock,
    > it could be a good time to buy some.
    >
    >
    > MacRumours.com:
    >
    > US Air Force Agrees to Purchase $9 Million Worth of iPads
    > ---------------------------------------------------------
    > The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to
    > purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2s, according to Bloomberg.
    > The plan is to replace bulky and heavy flight bags full of
    > navigational charts and other materials with iPads in order
    > to reduce the weight of pilots' bags and save fuel on
    > flights.
    >
    > The Air Mobility Command, which is purchasing the iPads,
    > provides transport and refueling services using C-5, C-17,
    > and C-130 cargo planes, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.
    >
    > A number of airlines have begun testing iPads to replace
    > heavy flight bags, including United, Delta, American, and
    > the Marine Corps.
    >
    > The iPads will streamline pilots' work by eliminating the
    > need for thumbing through sheafs of paper or waiting for
    > pages to print. The iPads will reduce clutter on cramped
    > flight decks and offer quick and easy access to required
    > data at all times.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Helpful Harry :eek:)


    Air Mobility must consider the iPad to be very reliable. You don't want to
    be without important information when you need it.

    --
    Regards Brian
     
    Brian, Mar 4, 2012
    #18
  19. Helpful Harry

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-03-03 21:19 , Wes Groleau wrote:
    > On 03-03-2012 12:55, Alan Browne wrote:
    >> On 2012-03-03 12:00 , Wes Groleau wrote:
    >>> On 03-03-2012 09:50, Alan Browne wrote:
    >>>> These are for cockpit manuals and navigation, not military secrets.
    >>>
    >>> What else is in the cockpit? Anything using 802.11 or Bluetooth that
    >>> could be intercepted and analyzed for clues?
    >>>
    >>> Anything we don't want a camera aimed at that could be analyzed for
    >>> clues?

    >>
    >> Not much in the stated aircraft. They are more like airline cockpits
    >> than bomber/fighter cockpits.

    >
    > Fair enough.
    >
    >> For that matter, the web is ripe with photos of cockpits from military
    >> aircraft (tactical as well as logistical).

    >
    > Usually taken with the knowledge of the military who have ensured things
    > that don't belong online have been properly stowed.


    They have no means of checking every photo and video taken. They expect
    members to know what is okay and what is not. There is little in even
    tactical cockpit that if seen in a photo would be of much use to an
    enemy at the resolutions the camera's have.

    >
    >>> How about sending some unauthorized entity a record of the GPS fixes of
    >>> the aircraft?

    >>
    >> Since the purpose of the iPads in this context is flight under national
    >> and international civil ATC, the information is available from a cheap
    >> radio scanner (if you know what to listen for).

    >
    > How does a radio scanner access the GPS chips in the iPad? (Actually, I
    > suppose they would not be buying the GPS model for this purpose)


    You don't need to. Like I said, if you know _what_ to listen for, you
    have a very good idea where they are.



    >
    >> IAC, the location function of the iPad can be turned off.

    >
    > Not if, as has been suggested, the firmware has been tampered with
    > during manufacturing. Remember the recent comment about the Chamber of
    > Commerce find a thermostat sending IP packetes to China?


    Meh. If there is any such concern, the AF will be conducting all manner
    of testing to see what's going on. In any case, the WiFi can easily be
    shut off and if paranoia reigns then the WiFi can be physically defeated.

    And while Apple have been less than ecstatic in chasing government
    business I'm sure they'd cooperate with a security review request.

    >>> How about recording the conversations in the cockpit?

    >>
    >> All facilities easily turned off or otherwise defeated.

    >
    > If the iPad works as Apple intends. I'm talking about the possibility of
    > a "back door" intentionally put in during manufacture. Someone worried
    > about the security of an app from another country. I'm saying, heck the
    > whole device is from another country.


    It is a valid concern and there are sub-agencies of several US
    intelligence agencies who worry about such and investigate it
    thoroughly. I can hang it way out there and fathom the "enemy"
    injecting the most subtle of sleeper conditions waiting for the right
    conditions to attempt to send data home to mama. I just have my doubts.

    As an example (for confidence) if Apple define the bootstrap code and
    the EFI (BIOS) of the iPad, then it can be signatured. That signature
    would change if even a single bit of the code was changed. It is
    numerically difficult to change the code and then pad it such that the
    signature comes out to a predefined value. So, the audit trail could
    and should be very verifiable. The iOS release is something Apple could
    certify.

    But in the case of the iPads for cockpits, I'd bet they're simply going
    "off the shelf" with only a superficial security review and probably a
    briefing/checklist for the users.

    When you're orbiting the fuel track, sitting in your KC-10 waiting to
    refuel some slobs on cover patrol there's nothing like watching The
    Incredibles ...

    --
    "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did.
    I said I didn't know."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 4, 2012
    #19
  20. Helpful Harry

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 03-04-2012 16:19, Alan Browne wrote:
    > And while Apple have been less than ecstatic in chasing government
    > business I'm sure they'd cooperate with a security review request.


    'Twas in the news recently that some government group declined to buy
    because Apple declined to allow inspection of source code.

    --
    Wes Groleau

    It seems a pity that psychology should have
    destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.
    — G. K. Chesterton
     
    Wes Groleau, Mar 4, 2012
    #20
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