Android Being Tested By U.S. Army For Future Combat Use

Courtesy of

The U.S. Army is ready to put the power of the mobile device into the hands of it’s soldiers and in a nod to open architecture, they have chosen to develop a prototype device that runs on the Android operating system. Before being deployed to the field, the Joint Battle Command-Platform Handset (JBC-P) handsets must pass through a series of 4 test events scheduled to finish up in late 2012.  Rest assured when the testing concludes, the Army will have better hardware choices and a faster, more efficient version of Android (Lollipop?)

Currently, JBC-P apps are focused on maintaining real-time situational awareness. They enable soldiers to track fellow soldiers (also known as a blue force tracker), the enemy, and anything else they can notate from their device (roadside bomb, obstacles, friendly villages, uncharted streets, etc). An invaluable capability that has the potential for saving lives.

What sort of apps will the JBC-P handsets (and future handsets) be running? That’s up to developers. The Army plans to release a mobile handheld development kit sometime in July 2011. Because of security concerns, our guess is that the development  kit will only be released to cleared defense contractors, but that remains to be seen.

What sort of apps do you envision the Army running? What benefits might Android ‘civilians’ see now that Android has made its way into the Defense realm? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Mary Beth
    April 22, 22:47 Reply

    This seems surprising given that these devices would be so dependent on a good wireless network.

    • Jake
      April 23, 04:25 Reply

      I could see it being used in conjunction to sat phone technology instead of standard cell systems

    • Smartron
      April 26, 17:45 Reply

      Think of the spinoffs… Rocket powered self retrieving solar powered cell phone tower/charging stations at only 100 mil each. Air drop those puppies (it should have a Starbucks as well) and the solar panels will provide shade for our troops while their phones recharge! Then it can blast off and be snaged like mid-air refueling to be re-deployed. Go Green Army! Reuse and recycle.

  2. Marco Ruiz
    April 23, 03:59 Reply

    This is great. It makes sense to take an open mobile platform like Android and apply it to producing something our armed forces, or anybody else, can use for more specific purposes. Bomb detection, live translation, mapping, and who knows what else would very much help them out. I like the direction android is heading. Sooner or later it will be ubiquitous, and yet we will have so many options lol.

    • Tsbackup Kcorps
      April 25, 03:58 Reply

      yeah, i agree with u, Marco.
      with this Android device, the Army should be able to develop the device exactly as they want…

  3. Anonymous
    April 24, 09:13 Reply

    Well… it sounds really interesting and will also help Google to get most out of Android.

  4. herlinoah
    April 25, 11:32 Reply

    Bomb detection, live translation, mapping, and who knows what else would very much help them out. I like the direction android is heading. Sooner or later it will be ubiquitous, and yet we will have so many option.

  5. Accordarechitarra
    May 03, 08:38 Reply

    Well, I ope this will all go well. Technology has a major role in our days.

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