Air Force buys big batch of rugged portables

The Air Force is buying about 1,000 rugged Itronix Corp. wireless portable PCs to use for flight maintenance services.

The Spokane, Wash., company is providing the systems as a subcontractor to Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va. Telos will configure the systems to sign on to virtual private networks carrying aircraft repair information.

The service will choose from three Itronix models, said Vince Menzione, public-sector vice president for Itronix. They are the GoBook Max, which lists for $5,000 to $5,500; the GoBook II, which lists for $4,000 to $4,500; and the GoBook Tablet PC, which lists for $3,000 to $3,500.

The Air Force will use the new portables at 50 Air Force bases. Telos has begun deploying the systems at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Menzione said. The service is slated to buy $5 million worth of the Itronix systems by year's end.

The notebooks will support the Air Force's Point of Maintenance Initiative. Through POMX, the service is equipping its maintenance technicians with wireless devices to access repair manuals, parts inventories and status information about parts orders.

The Air Education and Training Command hired Telos last year to help with the initiative, said Tom Badders, director of wireless networking for Telos.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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