The Israel Defense Forces is poised to enter the smartphone era. The Defense Ministry's acquisition department recently finalized a deal with Motorola for a durable, field-tested smartphone that would allow troops to communicate and share encrypted data.
The Motorola smartphone platform was selected after comprehensive testing carried out by the Defense Ministry and the IDF's teleprocessing unit. According to the deal, Motorola will supply smartphones as well as establish a secure network for the devices.
Like most smartphones on the market, the device will include a touch screen, GPS, 8-megapixel camera, and a unique set of applications. The device will be durable, water- and dust-resistant, and will support 400 airtime minutes and up to 500 hours of reserve battery. The phone will allow troops to send encrypted text, media and emails from the field.
The new device will replace the current "Vered Harim" ("Rose Hills") encrypted phone system, which will remain in use until all devices are upgraded. The project is estimated to cost $100 million over the span of 15 years, during which time Motorola Solutions will provide technical support and warranty for the devices and network.
"Signing the contract to develop and purchase the first army smartphone will bring the smartphone revolution to the future battlefield, and will afford the IDF and the defense establishment a significant advantage. We succeeded in bringing the world's most advanced technology to the IDF at the best price," said IDF acquisition department head Brig. Gen. Shmuel Tzuker.