In a news release Lockheed Martin stated that it is actively collaborating with Microsoft on 5G.MIL solutions to rapidly advance reliable connections for U.S. Department of Defense systems capable of spanning air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.
Through a new corporate agreement, the two companies will test how to effectively expand and manage 5G networking technology for Joint-All Domain Operations (JADO) defense applications using Microsoft’s 5G and Microsoft Azure services for Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Base Station, essentially a military-grade ruggedized “multi-network gateway and cell tower in a box.”
“Microsoft’s expertise in cloud computing and scaling complement our vision to enable secure communications and run critical mission applications at the edge,” said Dan Rice, vice president of 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin. “Innovative commercial partnerships like this help us accelerate and deploy the transformative capabilities that can best help our customers address a rapidly evolving threat landscape.”
Today’s militaries are challenged by rapidly evolving adversaries with ever-advanced capabilities meant to deny, degrade or infiltrate communications networks. Effective management of secure networks offers the resilience and reliability required by 21st century warfighters. The companies recently had a successful demonstration of these advanced communications capabilities at Lockheed Martin Space’s 5G test range in Colorado.
That demonstration effectively showcased connectivity of three hybrid base stations, 5G and tactical radio (Link-16) interoperability and real-time radio frequency (RF) analytics using Azure Private 5G Core, Azure Arc and connectivity with Azure Government and Azure commercial cloud environments. By using the advanced capabilities such as high performance on small edge footprint, security and scalability of Azure Private 5G Core, Lockheed Martin has a path to support the interconnection of 5G and military networks needed for DOD applications out to the tactical edge.
“Today’s announcement brings together Lockheed Martin’s transformative base station technology and the power of Microsoft’s cloud capabilities to deliver mission-critical solutions at the tactical edge,” said Tom Keane, corporate vice president, Mission Engineering. “It is the latest step forward in our joint commitment to solving some of our nation’s toughest problems for a more secure future.”
Creating network effects for future DOD and coalition operations using commercial technology like Microsoft’s propels Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet’s vision to exponentially accelerate resilient communication networks, giving our military forces decision-making advantages in complex and contested environments.