Singapore Sends Its Soldiers To War Armed With iPads


Image courtesy of Mike Licht on Flickr

While the most war many of us will see on our iPads is a spot of Angry Birds, Singapore’s got bigger plans for Apple’s tablet: they’re issuing an iPad to each new recruit to use in action on the battlefield.

The Defence Ministry for Singapore revealed today that it plans to issue 8,000 iPads to new recruits this year that will enable soldiers to collect photos & videos of the battlefield which can be uploaded to the Singapore Armed Forces’ online platform. The device will also allow soldiers to better communicate with each other and with their commanders through a live messaging system and group chat.

The SAF is working with private contractors to create secure applications for military use which will greatly expand the iPad’s capabilities for its soldiers. The devices will be handed out to new recruits this year and will then be assigned to other soldiers throughout 2012.

Defence chief Neo Kian Hong said:

By exploiting the use of popular and current information and communications technology, we are able to harness our advantage of today’s technologically savvy servicemen.

TUAW notes, however, that Singapore isn’t the first country to issue the iPad to its military. The U.S. Marine Corp recently issued the devices to its aviators to replace paper-based navigation systems, and in the U.K. soldiers are using the device to train for combat before they are sent to Afghanistan.

  • Athren Glory

    To collect photos and video….was the iPhone or iPod touch not good enough?

  • KillianBell

    Well, that’s what I thought when I read it. The iPhone in particular has a significantly better camera, however, it is more expensive. I suppose the iPad, with its larger screen, is better at plenty of other things that will be useful to soldiers.

  • Chris

    This is just supposed to get them some new recruits :D

  • Michael gabriel raphael Lum

    National Service in Singapore is mandatory for all 18 year old male that are natural born citizens and permanent residents. It is not voluntary although one can sign on after their 2 year stint. So iPad or no iPad, you have to serve.
    My question, how is the Ministry of Defence gonna get the recruits to keep their iPad from getting damage? And how to keep opsec intact when the iPad and/or iPhone comes with camera and video features?

  • ewenjam

    Otterbox Defender. ‘Nuff said.