The world’s largest defense contractor has announced its plan to integrate blockchain technology into a number of key development processes and operations.
Lockheed Martin has laid claim to being the first US defense contractor to incorporate blockchain technology into its development processes, promising increased efficiency in its operations with the US federal government.
The Maryland-based defense giant is aiming to incorporate blockchain technology into ‘system engineering processes, supply chain risk management and software development efforts,’ pointing to a wide implementation of the technology powering the likes of bitcoin. Lockheed Martin is perhaps best known as the developer of aircraft such as the F-16 fighter, the Black Hawk helicopter and the stealth Blackbird. With revenues of over $45 billion (2015 figures), the company also develops everything from robotics to missiles to satellites.
The defense contractor has contracted Guardtime, a Virginia-based collective of cryptographers, developers and security researchers that claims to be the ‘world’s largest blockchain company by revenue, headcount and actual customer deployments.’ Other notable contracts see the blockchain developer tasked to secure the likes of nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure installations in the United Kingdom.
The two firms first began testing blockchain applications in 2015. The aim was to address data integrity hurdles in military, aerospace and industrial systems that fundamentally depend on software supply chains, interconnectivity, and storage platforms. While details remain scarce, Lockheed Martin is ultimately pushing toward the implementation of blockchain technology toward in efficient and secure software development as well as risk management in supply chain processes.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Engineering and Technology vice president Ron Bessire stated:
These new cyber security approaches will enhance data integrity, speed problem discovery and mitigation, and reduce the volume of regression testing, which results in reduced schedule risk.
Guardtime is playing an increasing role in the implementation of blockchain technology in the defense sector, particularly in the United States. Last year, US defense agency DARPA awarded a $1.8 million contract to Guardtime Federal toward an integrity monitoring system developed by the blockchain firm.
The Department of Homeland Security has made public efforts to research and explore blockchain technology since 2015.In mid-2016, the department awarded $199,000 in a grant to blockchain startup Factom Inc. Earlier this year, the DHS underlined blockchain technology as “an innovative leap forward that has many uses and applications across multiple sectors of the economy” whilst announcing its continuing research and development of blockchain technology.
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