The Air Force Wants iPads Too

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) doesn't need help selling its products, but the U.S. Air Force may give the gadget giant a big boost, as the government agency looks to modernize its operations.

A Bloomberg article states that the U.S. Air Force may purchase up to 18,000 iPad 2s, as the military agency tries to lighten the load for pilots, by replacing manuals and navigation charts.

Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force told Bloomberg that the airline industry has already added iPads to flights, as the tablet can replace close to 40 pounds from each flight, lowering fuel costs.

This comes on the back of Halliburton ( HAL) switching from Research In Motion's ( RIMM) BlackBerry to the iPhone. The Houston-based oil services firm determined that Apple's iOS platform "offered the best capabilities, controls and security for application development," according to an internal newsletter.

On Apple's first-quarter conference call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said almost all the top Fortune 500 companies "now approve and support iPhones on their networks." Oppenheimer mentioned companies including Nike ( NKE) and Kimberly-Clark ( KMB).

Apple shares have dipped into negative territory, off 0.1% to $492.84 on Friday. Shares touched a high of $497.62 earlier in the session.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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