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5G technology enables the accelerated transfer of large quantities of data and rapid communications. 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 warfighters.
Technology giants Lockheed Martin and Microsoft are joining forces to develop 5G technologies for the US military. The companies will advance reliable connections for the US Department of Defense systems capable of spanning air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.
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.”
The companies recently had a successful demonstration of these advanced communications capabilities at Lockheed Martin Space’s 5G test range in Colorado. That demonstration showcased connectivity of three hybrid base stations, 5G and tactical radio interoperability and real-time radio frequency (RF) analytics using Azure services. 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, according to Lockheed’s announcement.
5G connectivity is expected to give the US military forces decision-making advantages in complex and contested environments.