Raytheon Unveils iPhone App For The Battlefield

Joining the "yeah, there's an app for that" party is yet another previously unexpected guests: war companies. Raytheon, which is considered a US defense contractor, has just recently made public information that shows their efforts to make new iPhone applications that could morph the smartphone into a battlefield necessity. Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard that the iPhone could make a great tool out in the warzones, but it's easily the first case of a major company backing such an endeavor.

The program is set to be called One Force Tracker (or OFT, for short), and it will utilize features that are already a vital part of the touch-screen based phone. According to Tushar Patel, head of Advanced Programs and Technology at Raytheon's Network Centric Systems: "We have developed a situational awareness application based on military messaging standards that provide multimedia access, audio and textual point of interest, free text messaging, collaborative planning, spot reports and emergency call for fire. Raytheon is a leader in secured wireless networking. Combining that with Apple's expertise allows us to provide rapid, low-risk and affordable interoperable system solutions."

We know that all sounds like a bunch of fluff, but here's the detail in all of it: the software could use cell tower, Internet data and accelerometers to react to physical positioning, and it could also be used by medical practitioners, firefighters and other emergency employees answering to adversity. As you might expect, the company seems to be keeping the exact purpose(s) of the app close to their chest. We're guessing they don't want any copycats hitting the App Store before they have their own out, but now the real question is whether or not Apple can convince the military branches that iPhones are needed for field work. We can't imagine too many soldiers complaining about the idea, though.