US Army to develop new Android smartphones

Google-powered combat coming to a battlefield near you

American forces choose the operating system for their Joint Battle Command Platform Handheld.

The Android Army is set to become a reality for US troops as it has been announced Google’s operating system will run on smartphones specially designed for troops by the US military.

Android has been chosen to power the Joint Battle Command Platform Handheld allowing for an array of additional Mission Command Apps whose roster currently includes mapping, GPS tracking and tactical ground reporting.

An app development kit will be issued to the industry in July with software to be designed through a government-owned framework. This will ensure all applications are “secure and interoperable with existing mission command systems”, according to the US Army’s news blog.

Army and Marine troops are expected to receive the JBC-P phones by the start of 2013, with those in charge of the project hoping to tap into the strong consumer app market.

“All of the research dollars are out there in the commercial market,” explained Lt. Col. Mark Daniels, product manager for the JBC-P project. “We want to take advantage of it and get it out to the soldier in a structured fashion, so it can be implemented in a way that is secure and useful at the same time."

What would you give for a military-grade smartphone? Should the handset come in white? Let us know via our Facebook and Twitter pages.