Two ships, Persian Gulf-bound USS Kearsarge and USS San Antonio, will have the network which will enable the sailors to call, text and transfer data from and onto Android smartphones.
The Somali pirate-fighting mission by the U.S. Navy just got a new weapon: 4G network. Although¬†the initiative was launchedlast year, the two boats carrying the 4G LTE network are just finishing off testing the system in the North Atlantic before they set sail for the Persian Gulf. The idea of the system, a microwave-based wireless wide-area network, or WWAN,¬†saysWired’s Danger Room, is to free up existing bandwidth on the ships. And one big perk for the sailors on board the USS Kearsarge and USS San Antonio is this: free¬†Android-powered LG phones! The 4G-trained sailors and marines will be able to use the devices to call, text and transfer data to anywhere within a radius of 20 nautical miles.¬†Helicopter crews¬†will be able to shoot videos of the pirates and then send the footage to the ships or patrol boats for analysis.
The Navy’s fight against pirates–not the¬†Guybrush Threepwood¬†kind–has been getting all sorts of boosts recently–but then, with the marauders¬†using increasingly sophisticated technology¬†for their attacks, they have had to. They’ve been¬†crowdsourcing ideas through a new gaming platform, called MMOWGLI, and the defense industry has been capitalizing on this, with a¬†whole raft of crazy products, including “stinky water” walls.