Northrop Grumman, together with AT&T and Fujitsu, have recently conducted a demonstration to validate the latest 5G-powered intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

Executed in Northrop Grumman’s new 5G lab, the demonstration involved integration of radios with Fujitsu’s Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN), Northrop Grumman’s tactical data links and AT&T’s private 5G network.

The integrated system was set up to demonstrate the transmission of ISR data, including videos, to support various modern missions.

The capability is being tested to establish digital battle network that can support various multi-domain missions by connecting battlespace.

Northrop Grumman networked information solutions division vice-president and general manager Ben Davies said: “This critical capability will bring together high speeds, low latency and cybersecurity protections of private 5G networks with the flexibility and scalability of commercial 5G capabilities.

“Enabling 5G connectivity for our warfighters across domains will help realise a connected battlespace for joint force.”

In summer last year, Northrop Grumman and AT&T also entered into a joint research and development agreement to develop a digital battle network.

This network was powered by AT&T’s commercial 5G network and several capabilities from Northrop Grumman that are used for military technological enhancements to support joint domain forces.

AT&T public sector, defence client executive vice-president Lance Spencer said: “This demonstration showcased the benefits of commercially available 5G for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the open, standards-based technologies that we’re exploring and developing as leaders in O-RAN alliance.”

Meanwhile, the latest collaborative effort between the three companies will now focus on delivering a cost-effective, scalable and open architecture solution for the US DoD’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative.

This will also provide rapid deployment of advanced capabilities, reducing decision-making timeline in contested environment.