SUFFOLK, Va: Warfighters operating in theatre may soon have greater situational awareness with the added ability to download high-value tactical data anywhere in the field on smartphones loaded with new applications from Lockheed Martin.
Smartphones are mobile phones offering advanced capabilities, often with personal computer-like functionality. In a recent joint forces live exercise, the company connected enterprise-based situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, biometrics and unmanned aerial vehicle applications with smartphones, thus delivering media-rich data and applications to the “tactical edge.”
“Our success with this technology at the 2009 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) last month demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to delivering systems that combine the best attributes of military technology with cutting-edge commercial products,” said John Mengucci, President of Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS-Defense. “This integration provides more affordable and powerful solutions to the warfighter, while still addressing special requirements for security and tactical applications.”
At CWID, the Lockheed Martin-Defense Information Systems Agency team developed a hybrid tactical communications system that combined satellite and commercial 3G technology, and legacy military radio nets. This communications system, implemented in shelterized, vehicle-mounted and manpack versions, connected the smartphones with enterprise-level application systems. The benefit of this approach is to net-enable warfighters down to the rifle squad level, providing them access to a full complement of applications on a low-cost, lightweight platform. This eliminates the information gap at the tactical edge, increasing both effectiveness and survivability.
CWID is an annual technology-discovery, risk-reduction and interoperability-assessment event which is executed on a worldwide stage hosted by Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States and NATO. U.S. technologies participate in many of these global venues and support efforts to improve multinational information sharing.
The end-user devices were of a single brand, but the applications could be hosted on other smartphones as well. This user device provided a single platform for soldiers to use in a wide variety of missions and roles. In addition to existing commercial applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol, e-mail and instant messaging, the team provided warfighter access to video, imagery, mapping and spot reports. Users could also search for data via keyword, geographical area and time period.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.