US Army to Test Smartphones for Combat Readiness

6 June 2011 (Last Updated June 6th, 2011 18:30)

The US Army has plans to conduct desert trials to test off-the-shelf iPhones, Androids and tablet computers for use in the battlefield, starting this week. The Army will also stress-test a range of applications that could allow troops to secure digital information from the frontlines.

The US Army has plans to conduct desert trials to test off-the-shelf iPhones, Androids and tablet computers for use in the battlefield, starting this week.

The Army will also stress-test a range of applications that could allow troops to secure digital information from the frontlines.

During the six weeks of testing, US Second Brigade Combat Team, First Armored Division soldiers will trial the sustainability of the equipment in rugged desert conditions.

US Army vice chief of staff general Peter Chiarelli said, "If the devices prove themselves in testing, we at the service will buy what we need for who needs it now.

"The service doesn't want to spend $2,500 to ruggedise a $200 phone," he added.

The tests will take place at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and at Fort Bliss, Texas, US.

About $4.2m has been spent by the US Army to date to investigate the use of smartphones and developing soldier-specific applications.