updated 08:40 pm EST, Wed February 22, 2012
Move believed to be due to security concerns
The Air Force Special Operations Command has reportedly canceled its immediate plans to acquire several thousand iPads. The command is said to have removed its request from the Federal Business Opportunities website just days after Nextgov raised concerns over the government's inclusion of Russian-developed GoodReader software as part of the purchase.
Apple's tablets would have been used as digital flight bags, as a replacement for paper documents such as charts and flight manuals. The procurement documents initially called for GoodReader, however critics from other military branches suggested the software's Russian origins pose a potential security threat.
AFSOC spokeswoman Capt. Kristen Duncan told Nextgov that the command "continues to explore options" for its electronic flight bag program, which will include tablets in the evaluation process.
"We continue to look at each component of the program to ensure we do the right thing for our airmen, don't introduce unnecessary risk into operations and provide the best tools available to conduct the mission," Duncan added.
It remains unclear if the AFSOC pulled its request due to the software concerns.