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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Lockheed flexes IT muscle with new unmanned software package

In another sign of just how deep Lockheed Martin remains in the IT world, the company this week released a new software package it says can control dozens of unmanned vehicles simultaneously.

Called "VCSi," the commercial software is designed to be adapted to any vehicle small or large. It also is built to manage multiple missions.

"The user can integrate as many vehicles as required to complete their missions, including boats, quadcopters, fixed-wing aircraft or even high-altitude pseudo satellites. Across commercial or military missions, VCSi is adaptable to the challenge and further extends the power of the human-machine team,” John Molberg, business development manager at Lockheed, said in a release.

The company unveiled the software at the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

And in an indication of how important the international market is for the company, the software was developed in Canada and is free of export restrictions.

I wanted to call attention to this announcement because it lines up with the strategy Lockheed announced two years ago when it jettisoned its primary IT business that merged with Leidos. Lockheed said then that its remaining IT capabilities would focus on platforms. In this case, the platform is unmanned vehicles.

Another IT focus for Lockheed is cyber and command-and-control systems, but again the focus is around platform.

Of course, Lockheed's biggest and most lucrative platform is the F-35 fighter jet that has been described a flying node on the network. The F-35's sensors and other ISR capabilities are constantly sharing data and the plane is constantly receiving data. The goal is enhanced battlespace awareness from the tip (the F-35) back to the commanders wherever they may be.

All of that takes software and IT.

Lockheed may not be an IT company in the same way many of the others we write are. But IT is still a core capability for the world's largest defense contractor.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:22 AM

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