The Israel Defense Forces signed a $100 million contract with Motorola Solutions on Tuesday to produce new encrypted smartphones for the IDF for the next 15 years.
The smartphones will include a touchscreen, GPS and an eight-megapixel camera, and will allow soldiers to send secure text messages, images and emails.
According to the Defense Ministry, the phones will also be waterproof and dirt-resistant, and will have increased battery strength that can last for up to 400 minutes of talk time and 500 minutes on standby.
The upgraded phones will gradually replace the “Mountain Rose” phone system — also developed by Motorola Solutions — presently used by the IDF. The first military smartphones are estimated to be introduced into the IDF in a few years.
“The signing of the contract for the development and procurement of the first military smartphone will bring the smartphone revolution to the future battlefield, and will give the IDF and the entire defense system a significant advantage,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Shmuel Zucker, the vice president and head of the Procurement and Production Directorate.
Addressing the funding of the project, a Defense Ministry spokesman said that half of that money would go toward purchasing and developing the devices in the US.
The rest would go toward installation, delivery, support and warranty on the equipment and toward the development of encryption, he said.