Tactical Smartphones Are The Army's Newest Weapon

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Tactical Smartphones Are The Army's Newest Weapon

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While smartphones may not seem like the scariest item in the Army's arsenal, they're surprisingly effective at coordinating troop movements.

The U.S. Army really seems to be getting behind using smartphones. First, there was the news that iPhones were being used to train missile crews, and now it's been revealed that smartphones are being developed specifically to withstand battlefield conditions with custom apps.

It was recently revealed that U.S. paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division engaged in a field exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (about 2 hours down the road from The Escapist's main offices) where they used "ruggedized" Android prototypes and special apps to coordinate their attack on a mock village. The phones were plugged into soldiers' tactical radios, which allowed the devices to act as a crazy conjoined technological mutant.

The phones had two different apps called Joint Battle Command Platform and tactical Ground Reporting (or JBC-P Handheld and TIGR Mobile, respectively). JBC-P displays a battlefield map, complete with GPS positioning of friendly and hostile units and terrain hazards. TIGR, in turn, allows soldiers to send photos and information back and forth to each other.

According to General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff for the Army:

"What I watched with interest today was the ability to take pictures of high-value targets, immediately provide them to the company or to the battalion command post. I saw the ability when a soldier is wounded to take a picture of the wound and to pass that to the doctors, so that medics can make sure that they are treating the soldier in the appropriate way, given the wound that he has received."

OK, honestly, the use of technology sounds pretty cool. What's really cool is the service the phones use: they work with a WIN-T secure terrestrial network created by the soldiers' HMS Manpack and Rifleman radios. That's probably for the best, since if they'd been operating on AT&T's network, I can only imagine bad things happening.

Source: Gizmag

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For people in the uk, AT&T are like T-Mobile... imagine our boys being at the mercy of THEIR systems haha!

This is cool and everything, but the phrase "tactical smartphones" just makes me giggle :P

Lets hope nobody's orders get auto-corrected.

I wonder if this will be implemented into MW3...

3 Kill Streak - Tactical Smartphone is standing by.
Activated - Our Tactical Smartphone is online.

I must admit, I'm a little surprised at this. I was expecting military technology to follow a sort of "HUD" route, where squad leaders would be issued with various computers and electron systems in their helmets while invididual soldiers would get relativly little. I guess this provides them with a lot more tactical flexability, which can only be a good thing.

So for the iphone is it going to be called imissile or ideath?

I laughed a little when reading this article, I couldn't help but picturing a soldier using it like a RTS, except it's for real and death is involved...

Actually now that I think about it it's nothing like an RTS, ignore me.

SenorNemo:
Lets hope nobody's orders get auto-corrected.

Hahahahaha!!! Awesome.

OT: Sounds awesome, but unless I join the military and need to learn how to use a 'smartphone', then I'll probably just stick to my Nokia E72, with its actual buttons.

Biosophilogical:

SenorNemo:
Lets hope nobody's orders get auto-corrected.

Hahahahaha!!! Awesome.

OT: Sounds awesome, but unless I join the military and need to learn how to use a 'smartphone', then I'll probably just stick to my Nokia E72, with its actual buttons.

I use this case to get around that problem. Also, I enjoy watching my friends' eyes bug out the first time they see me flip the phone out :)

vansau:

Biosophilogical:

SenorNemo:
Lets hope nobody's orders get auto-corrected.

Hahahahaha!!! Awesome.

OT: Sounds awesome, but unless I join the military and need to learn how to use a 'smartphone', then I'll probably just stick to my Nokia E72, with its actual buttons.

I use this case to get around that problem. Also, I enjoy watching my friends' eyes bug out the first time they see me flip the phone out :)

That's seems ... workable. Though the other reason I don't like 'smartphones' is that, during high school, I managed to crack the front screen of every phone I had (the flip-phones were better because I only cracked the 'front' screen, not the main one). I'm trying really hard to make sure I don't crack my Nokia, but yeah, touch screen + me = bad.

This is fine and all, but there is a slightly minor issue there. Smartphones can be stolen, Theese phones will have 'military grade' apps on them not to mention the phones can already access their network.
Get one of them and you know where your opponent is going to come knocking next.
Get your hands on maybe a dozen and you can start to screw with them.
Get your hands on at least 30 and you can have the same intelligence network theyre using against you.

Also heres a slightly tasteless joke.

Next step is it becoming real life.

Next step is some guy taking a last picture of another guy who just shot him.

Last step is Activison somehow putting it in CoD as a 'tribute'.

Hey iPhone have passwords. The military can figure out something to prevent those issues.
In any event it is a tremendous improvement tech evolution ftw :)

Great idea untill you run into a force which actually uses technology. Smart phone have 0 emmission security, which means if you have the proper equipement you can pinpoint their location pretty easily. Also another cool app for smart phones is the bullet computer. calculates any corrections you need for a given scope. Range, wind speed, air pressure, temperature, bullet rotation, earth rotation, etc...

Need tactical superiority on the battlefield?
There's an AP for that!

vansau:

The phones had two different apps called Joint Battle Command Platform and tactical Ground Reporting (or JBC-P Handheld and TIGR Mobile, respectively). JBC-P displays a battlefield map, complete with GPS positioning of friendly and hostile units and terrain hazards. TIGR, in turn, allows soldiers to send photos and information back and forth to each other.

Where can I get these apps?

vansau:
JBC-P displays a battlefield map, complete with GPS positioning of friendly and hostile units and terrain hazards.

So in other words... real world soldiers have minimaps now?

Huh.

I'd be impressed if it was going to be used for something other then killing people.

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War has changed.
It's not about nations, or ideologies.
It's not even about profit, resources, or ethnicity.
(But there's an app for that.)
It's an endless series of proxy battles,
fought by mercenaries and machines.

War, and its vast consumption of human life,
has become a rational, well-oiled business transaction.
War has changed.
ID-tagged soldiers carry ID-tagged weapons,
use ID-tagged gear.

(And there's an app for that, too.)

Scabadus:
I must admit, I'm a little surprised at this. I was expecting military technology to follow a sort of "HUD" route, where squad leaders would be issued with various computers and electron systems in their helmets while invididual soldiers would get relativly little. I guess this provides them with a lot more tactical flexability, which can only be a good thing.

That's the way they would like to go, but that kind of stuff requires they get all the resources and things to make all that custom gear were with smart phones so many company are making them so the parts are easier to come by and factory are already making them thus making it a much cheaper alternative to every thing you would see in a new ghost recon game.

Getting closer and closer to actually having an HUD then...

Though this is pretty much the UAV/radar from the CoD series, which is awesome.

I'm living in the future! This greatly please me. Although I do think that the military should head down the HUD route or the pipboy route. Please go the pipboy route.

Nedoras:
This is cool and everything, but the phrase "tactical smartphones" just makes me giggle :P

Imagine trying to hold a serious conversation and they blurt out
so we have tactical smartphones!

Kind of hard not to laugh a bit

From the Article:

JBC-P displays a battlefield map, complete with GPS positioning of friendly and hostile units and terrain hazards.

So... it's like the kind of GPS that we've been using in online shooters for years now? Damn, that's actually pretty awesome.

So RL soldiers have mini maps now! AWESOME!

AwesomePeanutz:
I wonder if this will be implemented into MW3...

3 Kill Streak - Tactical Smartphone is standing by.
Activated - Our Tactical Smartphone is online.

Ah haha...I had a good laugh over that. Thank you for that comment. :p

Holy shit, Droid should totally do a Duracell style commercial of soldiers using Android phones in the battlefield with some sort of deep voice narrating something along the lines of "These soldiers need a phone OS they can depend on with their very lives, they chose Android"

Lol.

COMMING UP NEXT!: Korea Invades US of A while troops are bussy playing Angry Birds on their smart phones!!!

J03bot:
Getting closer and closer to actually having an HUD then...

Though this is pretty much the UAV/radar from the CoD series, which is awesome.

Tis fairly epic, is it not. HUD Here we come! :D

JBC-P displays a battlefield map, complete with GPS positioning of friendly and hostile units and terrain hazards.

Bout time the Military got minimaps.

Just how long till Private Pile is disciplined for playing Angry Birds while they're under sniper fire?

*looks up from the cellphone jammer being built to fuck with the neighbours*

Well my flat will be safe from US invasion.

Read New Model Army. The future of warfare is peer to peer :)

gigastar:
This is fine and all, but there is a slightly minor issue there. Smartphones can be stolen, Theese phones will have 'military grade' apps on them not to mention the phones can already access their network.
Get one of them and you know where your opponent is going to come knocking next.
Get your hands on maybe a dozen and you can start to screw with them.
Get your hands on at least 30 and you can have the same intelligence network theyre using against you.

Also heres a slightly tasteless joke.

Next step is it becoming real life.

Next step is some guy taking a last picture of another guy who just shot him.

Last step is Activison somehow putting it in CoD as a 'tribute'.

If the enemy gets a hold of one, they'll know (Pretty obvious when a soldier reports his phone missing.) At which point it's easy to A) Use GPS to track it down and B) Stop all transmissions to said device.

These are smart-phones not cups on string. You can't just break into it without there being even the smallest fail-safe =)

...how come the U.S. Army seems to be a step behind affluent 20-something gadget-head twats? this is worrying.

Most terrorist groups also have tactical smartphones, though they don't always work
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Impressive. But not quite as impressive as...

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