Motorola Solutions has signed a contract with the Israel Ministry of Defence (IMOD) for supply of its next-generation smartphone to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Signed following lengthy negotiations, the $100m contract will be partially funded using US aid, which will cover the cost of adaptation, development and production of the smartphones by Motorola Solutions US.
Funded from Israel's defence budget, the other half primarily covers system maintenance for more than 15 years by Motorola Solutions Israel.
Israel Ministry of Defense Acquisition and Exports Administration head brigadier general (Res.) Shmuel Zucker said the contract will bring the smartphone revolution to the future battlespace, and will lend a significant advantage to the IDF and the entire defence system.
''We have succeeded in bringing the most advanced technology in this field to the IDF, at the best price,'' Zucker said.
Expected to replace IDF's existing cellphone network, called Mountain Rose, the new smartphones will be designed to enable IDF personnel to directly text, send digital media and encrypted emails from the battlefield to the command and control centres.
Fitted with GPS for navigation and a camera with an eight megapixel sensor, the touch-screen device already exists as a prototype, and features a four-inch touch screen and physical buttons for turning the device on and off, answering a call and accessing themenu.
Powered by a battery that allows up to 400 minutes of talk time and up to 500 hours of standby, the dust and water-resistant smartphone was found to be ideal for IDF's future cellular requirements.
Also manufactured by Motorola, the Mountain Rose mobile system became operational in mid-2004 and will continue to serve in the army until the full replacement.