Pentagon Approves Its First Android Smartphone…the Dated Dell Streak

The US likes to stay on top of technology when it comes to the defense of its people. Take for instance a railgun the Navy has been testing, which recently fired off its 1,000th shot, a milestone in proving the weapon feasible for combat situations. But things are a bit different when it comes to the bureaucracy behind it all, particularly in the case of the first Android smartphone approved for use within the Pentagon’s Defense Information System Agency. DISA will be getting the outdated Dell Streak, an Android 2.2 device that was discontinued by a company that may or may not even be all that interested in working with Android into the future.

The agency and Dell have reportedly been working on getting the Streak up to spec for over a year, though its security features (which have been approved for secure unclassified communications) aren’t all that uncommon. Password protection, remote data wipes, and IT-controlled security policies are standard on nearly all smartphones these days. I guess Dell had to do something with their excess stock of unsold Streak handsets, and the government was just the customer to take them off their hands.

[via Gizmodo]

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  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    I hope they locked down the bootloader and got rid of the super easy fastboot access that they shipped with…

    • John

      ima go way out to left field on this one, but i imagine they’ve thought of that.

  • Raj Bhatt

    The railgun was invented in 1918 and they are just now testing it for the military. So this is about par for the frickin course.

    • Tyler Tyler

      There are good reasons that it’s taken this long to develop the railgun into something that would be suitable for military purposes.

      First off, since it’s powered by electromagnets, it requires electricity to operate. Even with cutting edge technology, it’s very inefficient to store and transport electricity, especially when it must be durable enough for military purposes.

      Secondly, while simply building a railgun is fairly easy, in order for it to serve a purpose that isn’t already well served by conventional weapons, it must be able to propel it’s projectile to very, very high velocities. This means it requires even more power to run, and it also means that the barrel wear is a major issue. Dealing with this requires advanced materials that until very recently either haven’t existed at all, or were prohibitively expensive to obtain and work with.

      I believe the fact that all available data suggests the USA is closer than any other country to having a field ready railgun shows just how bleeding edge the US military really is (just in case the unmatched avionics and stealth capabilities of our current fighter aircraft isn’t enough to prove that already).

      • Raj Bhatt

        From my time in the USAF I have witnessed how our current technologies were researched and designed decades ago. The things they are working on now behind closed doors won’t be public for decades. It is simply how the military bureaucracy works.

    • jpchopper

      different railgun. The new “railgun” has nothing to do with railroads and everything to do with two supermagnetized rails propelling a like-charged projectile along their length at hypersonic velocity through magnetic repulsion; possibly useful for hitting re-entering ICBM warheads. The one in 1918 was a gigantic cannon that rolled along a railroad track to lob considerably slower projectiles into enemy cities. Both, however, are very cool.

  • PhilMcGraw

    I wonder if this means they would also go for the Galaxy Note since it seems they want a big screen. If so, then hopefully it will mean it gets over here sooner.

  • BRUSS58

    wondering if there is a way that they are going to be able to disable the camera (if there is one) as this a government deal?