Enterprise Mobility & the Connected Worker Blog

Designing Modern Mobile Solutions for the Ground Solider: Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition

by John-Luke D’Amico, with David Krebs | 06/11/2020


The opportunity to equip ground soldiers with secure and reliable and at the same time easy to use and ergonomic has confounded mobile OEMs and DoD decision makers for years. Options frequently came up short and were described as too expensive, too bulky/heavy, not user friendly or not sufficiently secure. Smartphone vendors like Samsung have stepped in leveraging their mobile device design expertise with growing investments in military-grade security and communications integration. Samsung has come a long way from their early successes with the NettWarrior program, especially around driving acceptance of the Android platform.

The newly released Samsung solution for mission-ready applications successfully provides the necessary capabilities for ground soldiers while also providing intuitive ease of use and accessibility. The Samsung Galaxy S20 TE also introduces DualDAR architecture, which delivers two layers of data encryption in order to secure top-secret level data up to NSA standards. Additionally, this rugged product offers critical connectivity options, interfacing with both tactical radio and mission systems for communication in multidomain environments where commercial cellular networks are not secure or available.

The durability of this product is seen from its IP68 dust and water resistance, and the solution also comes equipped with a Juggernaut case which touts a hardened glass screen protector, stainless steel buttons, and is sealed to an IP67 rating. The case also supports a Glenair 804-series connector which is a military spec plug that surpasses commercial caliber push-pull connectors. Additionally, the Juggernaut casing systems have a plethora of mount attachments for armor, sternum, vehicle, and other uses.

Another aspect of the product that is important to emphasize is its security, which is purposely designed into the Galaxy S20 TE. Its first level of security exists in the DualDAR system, which enables two layers of encryption even when the device is unauthenticated. The second level is the KNOX security platform, which provides defense-grade security for confidential communications. Each meets the requirements provided by NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSFC) Component’s List, and Mobile Device Fundamental Protection Profile (MDF PP) to ensure compliance with top standards.

Solider usage of the Tactical Edition product should help to improve situational awareness and useful features such as Night Vision Mode and Stealth mode pair well with field usage. Users are able to use drone feeds, laser range finders, external GPS, and other support systems in unison to increase the command of the operational picture. Field utilization is promoted with auto-touch sensitivity which adjusts to gloves automatically saving time and increasing practicality.

Overall, this product has the ground soldier in mind and was specifically designed for the needs of the Federal Government and the Department of Defense. This product, which becomes available in Q3 of 2020, does have the tactical needs of soldiers at its core function. The rugged durability, security, and unique functional operations lend this to be a tailored product for the needs of the ground soldier.

View the 2020 Enterprise Mobility and the Connected Worker Research Outline to learn more