WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor by revenue, said its products were used in an exercise near Alaska to consistently share military information across services and environments.
The testing during Northern Edge, a biennial experiment put on by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, marked the first time “true” synchronization was demonstrated at such scale, the company said, hinting at its implications for the Defense Department’s connect-everything-everywhere campaign known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
The department is pursuing JADC2 — to the tune of billions of dollars — to maintain an edge on China and Russia, seen as the most significant national security threats. Among Lockheed’s offerings is the Diamondshield battle management software, which incorporates automation for planning, battlefield assessment and tasking at a far quicker clip.
Defense officials say the ability to share timely and accurate information, regardless of source, location or file size, is critical to besting tech-savvy forces. Right now, data and databases are walled off, with communication between camps at risk of mistranslation or fumbled delivery.
Lockheed products are folded into a preliminary version of what’s known as a joint fires network, an INDOPACOM initiative designed to improve coordination between commanders. Navy Adm. John Aquilino, the INDOPACOM boss, in March 2022 described the network as enabling “any sensor from any platform,” including cyber, to feed targeting guidance to “any weapon.”
Amr Hussein, a C4ISR vice president at Lockheed, in a statement May 23 said his company is “responding to priority national defense demands for integrating JADC2 infrastructure with” already-proven tech. Doing so, he added, means the military could secure “JADC2 capability years sooner than” otherwise expected.
Northern Edge this year involved thousands of U.S. troops, at least five ships and more than 150 aircraft. The U.K. and Australia also participated.
Lockheed next plans to participate in the Talisman Sabre exercise, which also involves Australia. The country is thought indispensable in the vast Indo-Pacific region, where China is increasingly exerting influence.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.