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Smart phones in combat: Army may issue iPhones and Android phones

December 14, 2010 | 12:42 pm

Combat The Army wants to issue an Apple iPhone or Google Android smart phone to every soldier.

Previously the weapon of choice for hipsters looking up the hottest indie concert or Wall Street types checking stock prices, the devices could be used by troops in war zones to share intelligence and scout out the enemy as soon as next year.

The Army is already testing smart phones at three stateside bases in a pilot program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications. And in February, smart phones are scheduled to be fielded for potential combat situations.

Officials are also considering other devices, such as iPads, Kindle and Nook readers and mini-projectors, according to the Army Times. Other than potentially making the devices a bit more rugged, the Army doesn't plan to tinker too much with the technology.

The devices' communications and mapping capabilities could change battlefield techniques, officials said, but there are also concerns about hacking and data security. Another issue: How to get signal in far-flung combat sites.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Smart phones may be used in combat situations such as this one near near Marja, Afghanistan. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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