Lockheed Martin and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership to power the next generation of computing and communications technology for the United States Department of Defense, after Microsoft previously invested in and spent years building the classified cloud used by the Department of Defense.
According to the agreement, Microsoft will provide Lockheed Martin with its first classified cloud as part of a three-year contract, making it easier for the US’s largest weapons manufacturer to share information with its top customer, the Pentagon.
The agreement establishes a collaborative research and development program for the Pentagon to advance artificial intelligence, machine learning, modeling, and simulation capabilities. It also expands the companies’ existing collaboration to deliver advanced networking and secure 5G capabilities for defense applications, with the goal of speeding up 1LMX, Lockheed Martin’s digital transformation effort.
Lockheed Martin will also become the first non-governmental entity to operate independently within the Microsoft Azure Government Secret cloud. Lockheed will be able to avoid some of the repetitive security compliance processes for each new government project thanks to the secure cloud partnership.
Lockheed will test military systems and technologies virtually using Microsoft’s cloud-based gaming, exercising, modeling, and simulation tools, saving time and money over more expensive prototype testing or in-person exercises. According to executives, the new cloud will also enable the company to identify cyber threats and potential hacks.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.