Lockheed Martin: 5G from space is ‘ultimate high ground’ for US military
Lockheed Martin, the US military’s biggest contractor, announced a new satellite dish the company said could be used for a 5G network that may eventually help to sync up every weapon under the Pentagon’s control.
To be clear, Lockheed Martin’s latest announcement represents one minor step toward a goal that military planners have set for the next decade or so. Nonetheless, it represents yet another tangible move toward a 5G-powered military.
5G.MIL and JADC2
In its announcement, Lockheed Martin said its new, inexpensive satellite dish sports a Wide Angle ESA Fed Reflector (WAEFR) antenna, which the company said can increase its coverage area by 190% compared to traditional phased array antennas.
Importantly, Lockheed Martin said its new dish falls into its “5G.MIL” effort, unveiled last year, that seeks to “bring together an array of high-tech platforms into one cohesive network that spans every domain for unmatched situational awareness powered with 5G technology,” according to company CEO James Taiclet. Taiclet, a former US Air Force pilot who served a tour of duty in the Gulf War under the callsign “Cheetah23,” was previously the CEO of cell tower giant American Tower before joining Lockheed Martin.
The company’s new satellite dish is designed to help connect soldiers and military equipment into one vast communications network. “5G.MIL technologies like this will bring greater connectivity, faster and more reliable networks, and new data capabilities to support our customers as they navigate the complexity of 21st century battlefields,” said Chris Herring, vice president of advanced program development at Lockheed Martin Space, in a release from the company this week.
Lockheed Martin isn’t the only voice calling for this kind of technology. The US military has been taking steps toward a system they’re calling JADC2 (Joint All-Domain Command and Control). It’s ultimately intended to connect “sensors with shooters across all domains, commands and services” in order to “increase lethality.”
It could also represent a major 5G network buildout, given the US military’s international purview. After all, according to Bloomberg, US defense contract spending hit a record high of $447 billion last year – representing nearly two thirds of overall federal contract spending – and Lockheed Martin was the US government’s top contractor during that period.
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.