Lockheed asks military 'Can you hear me now?'

Washington Post:

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda yesterday landed two major contracts worth a total of $1.3 billion, including one to overhaul the military's radio system so that all the service branches can communicate with each other.

The world's largest defense company beat out Boeing to get the $766.2 million Pentagon contract to design and build a new radio system that will connect aircraft, ships, submarines and ground stations.

The Defense Department's program, called the Joint Tactical Radio System , is a major step toward replacing the older radio systems the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine troops now use, allowing them to have one system that can transmit video, conversations and other data.

"Today there are dozens of radios in the U.S. military," said Loren Thompson, a defense consultant. "If you want to communicate to Army Rangers, Navy war fighters or Air Force pilots, you need three different radios. But with JTRS, one radio will do it all."


The down side to such a radio is that adversaries have to crack only one and not three or four now. This means that Lockheed will have to put even more effort into making the communications secure. The company was also approved to sell some transports to India.


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