Lockheed Martin [LMT] said the Defense Department awarded it a $19.3 million contract to create a prototype 5G communications network testbed for experimentation in  expeditionary operations at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

This testbed is called the Open Systems Interoperable and Reconfigurable Infrastructure Solution (OSIRIS). The company said it is “key initiative” of Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL programs that aim to assist DoD customers field, scale and integrate 5G technology across operations on all domains including land, water, air, space and cyber.

Fifth-generation, 5G, wireless technology features significant improvements in bandwidth, lower latency and faster speeds over 4G.

The contract is specifically a Prototype Project Agreement (PPA) to create the 5G communications network infrastructure testbed for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E) and the Marine Corps.

Lockheed Martin plans to create the OSIRIS infrastructure at Camp Pendleton along with subcontractors DISH Wireless [DISH], Intel Corp. [INTC], Radisys Corporation and Rampart Communications Inc. The period of performance will last through September 2024.

Lockheed Martin said the OSIRIS testbed will aid the DoD’s need for test facilities that allow rapid experimentation and dual-use application prototyping.

“The testbed will identify areas for further compatibility between 5G network and DD platforms that will enhance customer capabilities. The infrastructure will also allow for the connection of various 5G-ready user devices, sensors, vehicles and endpoints to explore the military utility of commercial 5G technologies and pave the way for onboarding of new technologies from other OUSD investments while addressing cybersecurity requirements,” the company said in a statement.

A company official underscored the 5G capability will aid in the DoD’ Joint All-Domain Operations concept. It will address two “key enablers” of 5G technologies in high bandwidth and low latency, Deon Viergutz, vice president of Lockheed Martin Spectrum Convergence told reporters at the West 2022 conference in San Diego on Tuesday.

“We are integrating the technical capabilities of 5G waveforms, software and hardware with higher bandwidth and low-latency data rates into our defense products to enhance their performance for our warfighters,” Viergutz said in a statement.

“We want to ensure that warfighters operating in communications contested and denied environments have resilient access to data to perform their missions anywhere in the world,” he added.

Last November, Lockheed Martin and Keysight Technologies said they were collaborating on a 5G testbed for military applications to be used to test advanced telecommunications capabilities that reached initial operational capability last July. It has since been used for emulating, testing and validating 5G Open Radio Access Network and Non-Terrestrial Network communications tools (Defense Daily, Nov. 12, 2021).

Also in November, Lockheed Martin said it was partnering with Verizon [VZ] 5G wireless solutions for the military. This entailed a joint demonstration of a fifth-generation wireless network for battlespace that used a Verizon 5G commercial network installed at Lockheed Martin’s 5G test range in Colorado and connected to its open mission system processor running military applications at the Skunk Works Integration Facility and Test Center (Defense Daily, Nov. 2, 2021).

Last March, Lockheed Martin entered into an agreement with Omnispace, LLC to pursue space-based 5G communications (Defense Daily, March 23, 2021).

In 2020, DoD announced $600 million in contracts for 5G pilot programs at five locations for dual-use application, none of which included Lockheed Martin or Camp Pendleton (Defense Daily, Oct. 8, 2020).