DOD relying on Verizon, Lockheed Martin for 5G-enabled drones

These 5G-enabled drones are able to share real-time data using both private and public networks, and may be ideal for intelligence, surveillance and recon.

DOD relying on Verizon, Lockheed Martin for 5G-enabled drones
Published Sep 30, 2022 1:03 PM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Oct 23 2022 11:59 PM CDT
1 minute & 13 seconds read time

Lockheed Martin and Verizon Wireless are working to help the Department of Defense fly 5G-enabled drones to capture intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data. It's a curious endeavor because it shows large amounts of data can be sent over 5G short range distances and is valuable to military operations.

DOD relying on Verizon, Lockheed Martin for 5G-enabled drones 01

Verizon and Lockheed held an early demonstration last spring in Colorado, then had two follow-up private tests earlier this month. Additional tests are expected to take place in 2023, while the companies continue to develop 5G.MIL capabilities.

The companies want to provide timely, accurate and secure data that can be used to react to emerging threats while using rapid decision making. The advanced commercial technologies and military capabilities were initially demonstrated through Verizon's private network.

During the trial run, the ISR radio frequency was used to detect and quickly geolocate signals that enemies use to jam signals and communicate. The drones can live stream from the drones so human operators can see real-time ISR, indicating how well commercial and military technologies can work with one another.

The latency is extremely low and 5G also can support higher bandwidth throughputs in a private network.

As noted by Dan Rice, VP of military 5G programs at Lockheed Martin, while speaking to reporters earlier this week:

"This technology detected and geo-located low power [radio-frequency] signals that adversaries could use to communicate [or] sensor jam. And the signals information that the drones detected was transmitted in real-time over a private 5G ultra-wideband network. The data was then processed by advanced signal processing algorithms."

Here is a look at the drone in action:

The military is fully onboard with 5G technology, deploying the latest-generation technology on military bases, in warehouses, and other busy locations.

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An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown to cover everything from car’s & electric vehicles to solar and green energy topics. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the Cars & Electric Vehicles News Reporter and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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