In an effort to modernize its encrypted military mobile network, the Israel Defense Ministry announced it has inked a multi-million dollar deal with Motorola that will ultimately result in battle-ready smartphones for the Israeli armed forces.
The $100 million deal, signed last week, includes a 15-year contract with Motorola Solutions to supply the armed forces with encrypted, touchscreen smartphones that will replace the military’s current cellphone network, known as Rose Hills or “Mountain Rose,” reports the Jerusalem Post.
“This new deal and the acquisition of the new IDF smartphone will bring the smartphone revolution to future battlefields, and will grant a significant advantage to the IDF and the entire security establishment,” Brig. Gen. (Res.) Shmuel Zucker, Director of the Ministry of Defense Acquisitions Directorate, said according to homeland security blog i-HLS. “After an efficient and professional negotiation process we’ve managed to bring the most advanced technology, at the best prices, to the IDF.”
The new phones will likely share similarities to Motorola products marketed to public safety personnel like the LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld. These rugged touchscreen phones have GPS, an eight-megapixel camera, a battery life long enough for 400 minutes of talking time and 500 hours of stand by, as well as a water-and-dust resistant exterior.
Haaretz notes that while the Defense Ministry has not confirmed the new phone’s technology the LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld uses fourth-generation LTE connectivity.
“Motorola was chosen by the security establishment after a series of examinations, since it is the only company that has an existing device and mature technology,” the ministry said, according to Haaretz. However, the system will be put into operation “in a number of years,” the ministry added.