Among thousands of various applications in AppStore there are some that collect special attention and popularity. In particular, two apps belong to military area and can be used in practice. One can calculate the path of a shell from a mortar, another – of a sniper’s bullet. Both applications are paid, but the question remains, whether civil population really needs to have an access to them?
The application called Mortar Ballistic Calculator costs around $25. As a description the developer states: MBC provides fast and accurate calculations for firing mortar shells of all calibers. The program requires entering data such as the angle of wind, temperature, pressure, caliber, etc. As a result you’ll get data needed for firing. The application interface is translated into several languages, including English.
Military experts comment that there is a special term “an artilleryman’s notebook”, where all the necessary tables and formulas for calculations are placed. They serve as tools for a specialist to conduct individual manual calculations. Regular forces have specific “calculators” that obtain automatic estimations.
“For the firing it is necessary to have a rangefinder, weather data and several more parameters. Devices for collecting such data can be easily bought in online stores. Considering the fact that regular forces have all the necessary equipment, such applications are designed mainly for illegal armed groups.” – says the expert.
Some developers say that AppStore’s administration moderate all applications before providing them in the online store and usually get picky to every detail. Sometimes an application can be reviewed more than a month even being totally harmless by its content. However, the thoroughness of examination depends on the personality of the reviewer. AppStore doesn’t directly prohibit the applications that can be used for military purposes. For instance, geolocation services and maps can be used for such aims. Also, according to paragraph 15.4 applications that contain realistic images of weapons so as to encourage its illegal or reckless usage will be rejected. But in this case we don’t evidence such images. Nevertheless, an inappropriate detail hides in the description, where the age category set by an author is rated only 9+ having an emphasis on the words “materials causing horror / fear rarely / moderately”. This part shows that the age category must be higher.
The author has also another application of a military character – “Sniper – ballistic calculator”. It costs around $13. “Sniper Ballistic Calculator allows you to quickly determine the trajectory for any rifle. The best calculator for 7.62 mm bullet. An external ballistic computer is designed for shooting at long distances, “- mentioned in the description of the application. The program also requires having the data of temperature, pressure, size, distance, and other parameters. The interface is also translated into several languages. And the age category is even less – “4+”. It is worth mentioning that 7, 62 mm is a standard caliber for snipers.
Such calculator is not something new. Anonymous expert says that the most popular among snipers is the iStrelok application. It is even used as a tool for everyday trainings among the professionals in this area. The program comparably costs a lot less – around $5. The description says: “The ballistic calculator. It calculates the trajectory of the bullet and correction issues in centimeters, thousandths of distances, angular minutes, and aim clicks.”
Even though the abovementioned applications are the most popular, there are a lot of similar programs in AppStore and GooglePlay. For example, Fire Control in GooglePlay also provides calculations for mortar firing and costs around $10.
All in all, the intensions and possible ways to use such applications are doubtful and provoke a lot of questions. More and more prevailing becomes the point that such programs are designed for illegal purposes, have very low age limits and should be prohibited from an open access. Thus, under the strong pressure of a public opinion Apple has removed MBC from its online store, but all other applications are still available and the legislation has to be improved in order to solve the problem properly.
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