The US Navy has awarded a contract worth up to $74m to Lockheed Martin to continue the development of secure multinational information sharing system Radiant Mercury, used by the Department of Defense.

Radiant Mercury integrates high-assurance, trusted, network-encryption technologies that safeguard critical data from unauthorised users and protects networks from corruption by hidden code.

The system is a vital constituent of many security domains used by the DoD, national intelligence agencies and US coalition partners for secure information sharing.

Under the five-year contract, the company will support 483 Radiant Mercury systems worldwide and will also enhance system capabilities.

Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense C4ISR Systems vice-president Jim Quinn said that Radiant Mercury will connect the gap in intelligence sharing and the system will be developed further to ensure the crucial information is accessible to urgent needers.

Lockheed’s team will support around 80 task orders per year and received $3.5m for the initial three task orders.