Today, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin announced an expansion in their partnership with each other, in the form of a new, "landmark" agreement. The deal will primarily aim to help the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) adopt new technology and innovate in key areas for the federal government wing.
Jason Zander, Executive VP of Strategic Missions and Technologies at Microsoft commented on the partnership in the following terms:
"Our national security leaders need an unassailable information advantage, which is why we’re bringing the power of the hyperscale cloud to accelerate their national security missions. In partnership with Lockheed Martin, we’re demonstrating how the defense industrial base can bring classified data into the cloud securely while bringing advanced 5G connectivity, critical data processing and analysis, and immersive experiences to the edge to support decision- making where it’s needed, when it’s needed"
Yvonne Hodge,Senior VP of Enterprise Business and Digital Transformation at Lockheed Martin spoke in glowing terms remarking upon the agreement as well, noting that both companies will be "blazing a new path" in the identified key areas.
For starters, Lockheed Martin now becomes the first defense industrial base member adopter of Microsoft's newest National Industrial Security Program (NISP) framework for air-gapped clouds. The project is expected to launch next year, leveraging unprecedented tech that allows the aerospace firm to modernize its legacy systems, offer near real-time cybersecurity reporting, provide scalable governance, and more.
Furthermore, Microsoft's gaming, exercising, modeling, and simulation (GEMS) system will be collaborated upon as well. The intent behind this is to allow the DOD to test military tech in cost-efficient and immersive environments. Uniting the power of Azure and Lockheed's 5G.MIL systems will also enable communication systems' linkage with existing DOD networks, while simultaneously helping further innovation to occur in cloud-native security and multi-network management as well.
Finally, Lockheed Martin will be speeding up its "digital transformation" through Azure, with the aim of becoming a multi-cloud environment as far as the unclassified department is concerned. The eventual capabilities of this partnership are noted to impact defense applications across not just land and air, but the sea, space, and cyberspace as well.