The military was among the first organizations that embraced computers, and the special requirements of the military are known to be propelling and promoting the development of IT technology even today. Given the special conditions under which military computers are used and the special requirements they must meet, military computers must be different from civilian computers in many ways – here are a few of the most important differences.
The initial purchase price of military computers is much higher than the price of standard office computers. One of the reasons for the substantial difference is that standard computers are manufactured in much higher quantities, a factor that lowers the price due to economy of scale, the other reason is that military computers are manufactured using special technologies and any military applications are custom-built to meet special requirements and the tailored design increases the price even further.
While standard computers are intended to be used in office environments with controlled temperature and humidity, military computers need to be able to withstand extreme circumstances such high humidity, extreme temperature, extreme dust, high salt environments or strong vibrations. There are military applications that need to work reliably on aircrafts where they must be able to adjust to the special composition of the air and the high altitude.
Military computers are able to withstand harsh circumstances with the help of special, ruggedized components. While regular computerized devices such as laptops or smartphones can be partially ruggedized with rugged external casing, military computers use rugged exterior enclosures that are completely sealed to prevent the penetration of dust or humidity and other corrosives into the unit. They also use rugged interior components such as special hard drives and special, low-heat CPUs. The interior construction of military computers include fewer moving components than a typical consumer computer – a feature that is meant to reduce the risk of mechanical failures.
Military computers also use special connectors and USB ports that are resistant to humidity and many of them carry not one, but two battery packs. The screens of military computers are also special – they are made from special glass or are laminated for enhanced protection and they also have sunlight filters and anti-glare features that allow the user to read the display even in harsh sunshine.
The special materials and components that give military computers their ruggedness also give these units a different look. Military computers are usually larger, bulkier and heavier than standard computers and the cables attached to them are also thicker.
Special Operation Systems
Military applications have completely different requirements regarding the operation systems as well. Military systems are simpler and much more stable than regular systems and therefore they are able to work much faster, much more effectively and are not prone to system failures.
While standard computers also need advanced security measures to ensure the integrity of their systems and contents, military applications need even more robust security solutions to protect the sensitive data they store and use. Therefore, army security standards are much higher than the standards that office computers need to comply with. Companies like Chassis Plans use strict security protocols in every aspect of the production process. Every component on every computer produced must ensured to be free of malware or other exploits. Similarly, the software and BIOS on the system must come directly from a trusted military vendor.