Army to buy more rugged Unix notebooks

The Army's Program Executive Office for tactical command, control and communications will order more rugged Unix notebooks under a follow-on contract to lighten up battlefield hardware.

Under the Common Hardware/Software III contract, the PEO office had already paid more than $12 million for about 700 SPARCbook notebook systems built by Tadpole Computer Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and ruggedized by General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church, Va.

Under the new CHS-3, PEO officials said they expect notebook spending to grow. (Click for June 4 GCN story)

'It's only going to go upwards,' said Lt. Col. Gale Harrington, product manager for common hardware systems in the PEO office at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The Sun Solaris 9 systems come preloaded with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice 6.0 suite, which is familiar to Army personnel who use Unix. The combination of small size, ruggedness and open-source support spurred the Army office to write in that style of notebook as a specific requirement for CHS-III.

'This is a new product coming out in a ruggedized version,' said Ashok Jain, the office's technical adviser for common hardware systems.

Tadpole officials said they estimate their portion of the $2 billion CHS-3, a 10-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, will be about $90 million. PEO officials said the notebooks are undergoing testing and haven't been deployed in the field yet.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected