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Intel, Lockheed Martin Team Up For Military 5G

Shane Snider

The tech giant and aerospace military contractor are working to design secure 5G base stations for the U.S. military for communications between personnel, aircraft, ships and ground vehicles. ‘There’s a lot of synergy there between Lockheed Martin and Intel,’ says one distributor executive.

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Intel Corp. and Lockheed Martin have joined forces to provide 5G-enabled hardware and software solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense.

While the companies declined to disclose a price tag for the federal contract, they signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the ongoing relationship to develop and align 5G technologies. The companies have collaborated for more than a decade and worked previously to provide cloud and edge computing to the military.

“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 all 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.”

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel’s contributions include proprietary 5G solutions that are integrated into Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL Hybrid Base Station, which the companies say acts as a multi-network gateway for ubiquitous communications between military personnel and current and emerging platforms.

“Together, Intel and Lockheed Martin are utilizing the power of 5G to deliver greater connectivity, faster and more reliable networks, and new data capabilities to the DOD,” Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president at Intel, said in a statement. “This shows how cloud, network and edge technologies that are proven in enterprise implementations can also bring significant value to the tactical needs of modern defense systems.”

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at Campbell, Calif.-based distributor ASI Corp, said the collaboration makes sense. “Intel’s always been involved with wireless and pushing the wireless envelope,” he said. “There’s a lot of synergy there between Lockheed Martin and Intel.”

The base station will leverage Intel‘s FlexRAN software reference architecture, which essentially allows Lockheed Martin to bring 5G to the edge to deliver new computing capabilities. It’s a 5G RAN reference software stack that Intel builds and provides to enable 5G base stations on Intel architecture. Lockheed Martin is also using Intel‘s Smart Edge software solution, which is a hyper-converged edge computing platform that allows the customer to support multiple applications, according to a statement from the companies.

Intel and Lockheed worked together in the past on military connectivity projects. In 2021, the companies used Lockheed’s 5G-enabled ground vehicles to demonstrate how hardened security and 5G.MIL capabilities in cloud computing make military personnel safer.

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