Lockheed Martin developing new tech to connect military vehicles to 5G networks

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lockheed Martin is developing technology right in Central Florida that they say can equip military vehicles across the world with access to 5G networks.


At their Development and Integration Laboratory in Orlando, there sits a 25-year-old Humvee that can connect to brand new wireless 5G technology thanks to a new piece of equipment they call the Open Architecture Processor.

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“That would be like your home computer on steroids, that’s designed for all of the environments that our military needs to go in, and it’s upgradable,” Program Manager David Rohall said.

The processor is essentially a portable computer, roughly the size and weight of a traditional car battery. Rohall says it can link any military vehicle of any age to a 5G network.

It was developed in Orlando, then tested in the laboratory.

“Then we took it out into the swamp to test its performance,” Rohall said.

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In November, Lockheed’s 5G.Mil Team went to their electronics test site approximately 10 miles east of Orlando International Airport. Using two commercial Humvees talking to a commercial 5G network in a real-world environment, they tested the latency time.

“That’s the delay between the time something happens, the time it’s received, and comes back so that you as the operator can act on it,” Rohall said.

He says their tests produced a total round time of approximately 30-milliseconds. “So that’s a very low latency,” Rohall added.

Lower latency means lower lag time for communication in the field, giving a team an advantage when making quick decisions.

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“Communication is the key to success on the battlefield,” Rohall said.

According to Rohall, the next step for the lab is to develop drones that will eventually replace 5G towers, accompanying the ground vehicles with a 5G connection as part of an effort to connect air, ground, sea, and space operations.

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