As part of its effort to build out a testbed for advanced military communications, Lockheed Martin [LMT] this week announced it has signed an agreement with semiconductor designer and manufacturer Intel Corp. [INTC] to work on capabilities toward 5G.MIL communications to meet the needs of the 21st Century warfighter.
“This collaboration between Intel and Lockheed Martin will help accelerate delivery of secure 5G.MIL solutions to achieve network effects for our customers that will enable prompt, data-driven decisions by military commanders across operational domains,” Dan Rice, vice president of 5G.MIL programs at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement. “As security risks evolve and opportunities to leverage 5G emerge, staying ahead of the threat landscape is more critical than ever.”
Lockheed Martin already had agreements with Microsoft [MSFT], Verizon [VZ], and Keysight Technologies to collaborate on 5G.MIL capabilities as part of technologies and applications for a 5G.MIL testbed.
This year, Lockheed Martin received a Defense Department contract to prototype 5G communications network testbed for expeditionary operations at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and last fall successfully demonstrated the ability to bring 5G communications to military vehicles. In late 2022 and by mid-2023, the company expects to have launched several small satellites as part of a space-based testbed that will include demonstrating 5G.MIL, processing, sensor and resiliency capabilities.
Lockheed Martin said its partnership with Intel, which went into effect in late 2021, included work on the advanced communications for ground vehicles, demonstrating hardened security and 5G.MIL in cloud computing to enhance survivability for military personnel. The two companies will also work together on a relocatable version of Lockheed Martin’s 5G Hybrid Base Station prototype for expeditionary advanced base operations.
Lockheed Martin brings its know-how around providing systems that can operate in austere, rugged, contested and hostile environments and its partners bring expertise in information technology, scaling large 5G networks, and chip manufacturing and software related to 5G.
The agreements include engineering work to mature certain technologies and obtaining access to these technologies, Chris Pettigrew, advanced program development analyst with Lockheed Martin’s Space segment, said in an interview during the annual Space Foundation Space Symposium.
“It’s about developing that kind of engineering relationship where we can actually kind of get our hands dirty together and work on solving some of the military’s really tough problems around communications,” he said.
Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL effort is about enabling new capabilities such as rapidly linking sensors to shooters, enhancing weapons platforms to also be network nodes, and creating greater situational awareness across all operational domains, in support of the Defense Department’s plan for joint all domain command and control (JADC2).
Separately this week, Northrop Grumman [NOC] said it has entered into a partnership with AT&T [T] to work together on 5G and digital capabilities for the battlefield, taking advantage of the defense company’s advanced mission systems and the telecommunications giant’s 5G technologies.
Northrop Grumman and AT&T said they plan to deliver a scalable, open architecture digital network solution to link shooters, sensors and data in all domains, securely and with low latency in support of JADC2.
“Our collaboration with AT&T brings together some of the best capabilities in defense and commercial communications to meet the evolving requirements of JADC2,” Ben Davies, vice president and general manager for the Networked Information Solutions division at Northrop Grumman, said in a statement. “The enhanced connectivity and networking of information that 5G provides are a great advantage in a military environment and will help the DoD in the development of high-performing and intuitive technologies that quickly and seamlessly share data across a myriad of secure networks.”