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To Plan Missions Around the Globe, the US Air Force Turns to Toughbook

For the United States Air Force, planning missions is a critical, intricate and challenging task, requiring airmen to take into account terrain, weather, and aircraft performance and capabilities – while also monitoring potential threats in unfamiliar territory. To tackle this important job, an Air Force division faced numerous challenges: adapting to increased digital communications needs, shifting towards a truly paperless workflow and satisfying growing expectations of mobility by airmen in the air and on the ground. The Air Force knew it was time to modernize their systems in order to overcome these challenges. They set out to select a mobility solution that would meet key military qualifications:

  1. Portable Form Factor:, Mission planning crews needed a device that could be easily used in the tight confines of a cargo plane with flexibility in configurations that ensure it’s just as usable on the go as it is at a desk. They also needed to outfit a new generation of airmen who were comfortable with touch-screen, handheld devices.
  1. Reliable Uptime: Given the sensitive nature of the data and importance of the missions being carried out, the Air Force saw computer failure and downtime as more than just an inconvenience. Faced with long flights and deployments to remote areas, they needed a mobile device that could be relied upon for long battery life on a single charge and a history of low failure rates in even the harshest conditions.
  1. Durable Construction: Due to the rigors of the environment in an aircraft and on the tarmac, including vibration, heat, cold, dust and drops, the mobile device needs to be MIL-SPEC compliant with a high reliability rating in order to ensure that the unit is working when called upon.

Having relied on Panasonic since the very earliest days of the Toughbook® CF-25, the Air Force customer knew that they could turn to the rugged mobility industry leaders for a solution that integrated the very latest in mobile technology.

Panasonic demonstrated their fully rugged Toughbook® 20 2-in-1 detachable laptop and the customer determined that these rugged mobile devices give them the perfect combination of durability and flexibility to get the job done.

The 10 inch convertible design of the Panasonic Toughbook 20 offered the kind of portability that the customer was looking for – a compact but rugged device that let them monitor cargo, maintain communications within the aircraft and enhance flight crew cohesion without being tethered to a workstation or handling a large, cumbersome device. As a fully detachable 2-in-1 device, the Toughbook 20 could easily be turned into a handheld tablet for use in aircraft, on airfields and convert to a traditional laptop when seated at a desk.

Similarly, adopting these devices for flight crews reduced clutter within the aircraft work areas, enabling the customer to move towards a completely paperless process that’s more efficient and better suited to their unique work conditions. The data collected when using the device in its tablet mode – during tasks like checking cargo inventory or updating maintenance records – could then be worked into longer, more formal reports with the device configured as a traditional laptop with a physical keyboard.

Having been with Panasonic since the earliest days of the Toughbook® line, the Air Force customer knew they could count on their devices to withstand the harshest conditions and just work. On a bumpy flight, on an airstrip in a war zone, or in a crowded warehouse, they knew that these devices stood the best chance against anything that came their way.  They also knew they could count on Panasonic to deliver long lasting battery life that met their needs.

And, if a device was to fail in the field, the Air Force is protected by Panasonic’s Ultimate Care Protection – a 4-year no-fault warranty that guarantees their technology investments are covered.

In addition, the latest Panasonic devices like the CF-20, are fully compliant with the most recent Department of Defense guidelines which call for the adoption of Windows 10 and TPM 2.0 security chip to ensure they’re insulated from cybersecurity threats.

Equipped with some of Panasonic’s latest fully rugged devices, U.S. Air Force mission planners are  prepared to enable airmen and women to carry out their missions with confidence.

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