Navy acquires new portable tablet
- By Katherine Owens
- Mar 22, 2017
The introduction of the latest DT311 portable tablet computer to Navy shipyards will make maintenance, warehouse inventory computing, field training, and operational testing faster and more efficient for Navy personnel, industry and Navy officials said.
The tablets will be obtained through a five-year blanket purchase agreement with Patriot Technologies (Patriot) partnering with DT Research Inc., the creator of the DT311 tablet.
According to statements by Patriot and DT Research executives, the DT311 procurement agreement is the product of years of research and development toward specific industry portability and durability requirements.
Using the DT311 tablet on shipyard sites will give Navy personnel immediate access to data and images for reference and the ability to record and process new data in real-time. When inventories, maintenance needs, and test results can be directly input into the Navy’s information systems, solutions and improvements can be implemented more efficiently as well, according to the Assessment Director of the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC), where tablets are already being used to carry out pre-deployment assessments.
“It used to be the techs would come on board and write a few notes then go back to their buildings and [conduct] research. This whole process could take up to eight hours, but now we can get the jobs assessed and distributed within 20 minutes,” said the Assessment Director of SERMC at the time.
The latest DT311 tablet is fully equipped with WiFi and 4G network capabilities, a camera, microphone, and speaker, as reported by DT Research Inc. It has up to 16GB of storage on the DT311H model and uses a hot swappable battery pack, which means that the battery power source can be switched out for charging while the tablet remains on and fully functional, saving time and keeping personnel online when they need to be.
According to Patriot, the unique advantage of the D311 tablet is that it is lightweight, weighing about 3.6 pounds, and built to function in the varying, and often rough, environments that the military operates in. It sports a 11.6-inch, anti-reflective screen with full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution designed to be operated in bright, outdoor conditions, according to DT Research Inc. Like most smartphones, the screen is capacitive touch, which means it responds to electrical impulses imparted through contact skin.
The DT311 tablet is also purported to be able to withstand temperatures from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and meet military standards with a IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, with a MIL-STD-810G rating for ability to withstand shock and vibration.
As with any military electronic platform, security is an essential component of the DT311 tablet’s capabilities. In terms of software security technology, the tablet runs the intel 5th Generation Core i7 series processor, but employs the Windows 10 Device Guard enterprise software along with Trusted Platform Module 1.2 and 2.0 support for added security.
According to Microsoft, rather than only blocking identified malware applications, these systems use kernel mode code integrity and user mode code integrity recognition software to block any applications that have not been specifically approved.
In addition, DT Research Inc. states that the DT311 tablet is MIL-STD-461F certified, meaning that it meets the American National Standard on Electromagnetic Capability manual’s criteria for functioning in its designated electromagnetic environment and resisting foreign electronic signals and interference.
In terms of hardware, Patriot reports that the tablet has an instant blackout function, as well as a Bluetooth, RFID, and WiFi setting that will turn off all radio contact capabilities in the case of a security breach. The DT311 also has a Smart Card/ CAC Full-slot Reader, which enables Navy personnel to log in to their military portals on-the-go without jeopardizing security standards.
Tablets have also begun to be incorporated into Navy recruit training in what is known as the eSailor initiative, which, according to official Navy commentary, is part of the Navy’s efforts to meet and surpass the technology-use standards of civilian industry.
This latest acquisition of tablets for the Navy has been certified National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hazard of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance, and Hardware-Software Security compliant.
Since the DT311 is being procured through a blanket purchase agreement, an arrangement that extends over multiple orders in order to eliminate the time and administrative costs of re-issuing purchase orders, the Navy will implement tablet technology in its shipyards continuously over the period of 2017 to 2022.
----This article was updated March 25 to correct the details about the computer
Katherine Owens is a freelance reporter for Defense Systems