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5G is a game changer for the military

Mobile communications systems have evolved through wireless technology innovation into 2G, 3G, and then 4G to keep pace with ever increasing voice and data traffic. 5G is the latest iteration of cellular technology that is providing seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable communications. It will increase energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency, network efficiency and act as an information duct to connect billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.


5G will provide the seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable communications infrastructure to realize these visions.  The 5G standards envisage various types of wireless services – high speed links with peak rates of 2 to 20 Gbps, low speed links but with high connection density (one million per Sq. Km.) for sensing and actuating devices (IoT), and a completely new class of links that achieve both low latency (less than 1 millisecond round trip time) and high connection reliability (link outage of 0.99999). These services put together have the potential of creating revolutionary class of applications.


The low delay is achieved among other things with the help of so-called Edge computing where data processing and data generation  is executed as close as possible to the endpoints, including sensors and effectors, where these can exchange data with one another locally with practically zero waiting time.


5G holds enormous promise, including fast Internet, smart cities, driverless cars, critical health care, “Internet Of Things” revolution, digitisation and automation of industrial practices and processes and accelerating the fourth industrial revolution.This will enable new capabilities of mobile communication networks including higher quality video services, mobility at high-speed, business automation delivered through billions of connected devices, delivery of critical services such as tele-surgery and autonomous cars assured by low latency and ultra-reliable networks, and improved productivity assisted by high quality, real time data analytics.


5G networks will deliver an end-to-end latency of less than 5 milliseconds and over-the-air latency of less than one millisecond which is one-tenth compared to the latency of a 4G network. This will support the cloud storage/computing infrastructure of the future, and industries like health care and transportation. It will enable doctors to perform roboticsurgery, and provide critical and specialized health care services from any part of the world.


5G will enhance the Internet of Things (IoT) by increasing the amount and speed of data flowing between multiple devices. 5G will additionally also connect myriad of new devices including machines, sensors, actuators, vehicles, robots and drones, to support a much larger range of applications and services.


5G for military and security

5G technologies can also revolutionize modern warfare. The New York Times reported that the US administration contends that the world is engaged in a new arms race — one that involves technology, rather than conventional weaponry, but poses just as much danger to America’s national security. In an age when the most powerful weapons, short of nuclear arms, are cyber-controlled, whichever country dominates 5G will gain an economic, intelligence and military edge for much of this century.


5G communication technology is characterized by extraordinary speeds, low latency, and greater transmission density, which is fit to justify the requirements of several military applications. In the defense sector, the superior characteristics of 5G networks are expected to provide new opportunities for military units undertaking defense operations to make better decisions in risky setups. It will increase the capabilities of military drones and combat robots by providing them the ability to recognize, follow, and target individuals on the basis of facial identification and other features. Moreover, 5G will offer more capabilities to the military when combined with other innovations like the defense cloud and artificial intelligence.


Communications is a critical part of any military efforts and links must be reliable, secure, and without delays. Defense/aerospace designers have typically led the way with technologies for advanced communications systems, such as active antenna arrays and software-defined radios (SDRs). Within operative applications, critical mission communication – including critical machine-type communication (cMTC) – is crucial. This involves ensuring the necessary functionality, a high degree of robustness, security, shielding of data, and ensuring high uptimes across existing wireless carriers.


This new technology will also play a key role in the battle network. With the capability of simultaneously linking millions of transceivers within a defined area, it will enable military personnel – departments and individuals – to transmit to one another, almost in real time, maps, photos and other information about the operation under way.


5G technology holds similar innovative potential. Perhaps most obviously, the next generation of telecommunications infrastructure will have a direct impact on improving military communications. However, it will also produce cascading effects on the development of other kinds of military technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence. For instance, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, such as those used in the Department of Defense’s Project Maven, could be greatly enhanced when leveraging the data processing speeds made possible through 5G infrastructure.


5G technologies could have a number of potential military applications, particularly for autonomous vehicles, C2, logistics, maintenance, augmented and virtual reality, and ISR systems—all of which would benefit from improved data rates and lower latency (time delay). 5G for the military could additionally improve intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems and processing; enable new
methods of command and control (C2); and streamline logistics systems for increased efficiency, among other uses.


Information is critical to military success, and today, the data is gathered through sensors on a range of platforms, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, weapon systems, ground vehicles and even from soldiers in the field through smart wearable devices. 5G can satisfy military’s growing requirements to gather, analyze, and share information rapidly; to control an increasing number of automated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets and to command geographically dispersed and mobile forces. 5G technologies could also be incorporated into ISR systems, which increasingly demand high-bandwidths to process, exploit, and disseminate information from a growing number of battlespace sensors. This could provide commanders with timely access to actionable intelligence data, in turn improving operational decisionmaking.


Similarly, 5G could reduce latency in other data-intensive activities, such as logistics and maintenance, and could additionally enable augmented or virtual reality environments that could enhance training. Autonomous military vehicles, like their commercial counterparts, could potentially circumvent on-board data processing limitations by storing large databases (e.g., maps) in the cloud. Safe vehicle operations would require 5G’s high data rates and low latency to download off-board information and synthesize it with on-board sensor data.


Command and control systems could benefit from the high speed, low latency capability of 5G. For example, the U.S. military currently uses satellite communications for most of its long-distance communications. However, satellites on orbit can significantly increase latency due to the amount of distance a signal needs to travel, causing delays in the execution of military operations.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) 5G Strategy report, published last May, says 5G has the potential to transform military capabilities. “Ubiquitous high-speed connectivity will also transform the way militaries operate,” according to the report. “Tomorrow’s warfighters will use local and expeditionary 5G networks to move massive amounts of data to connect distant sensors and weapons into a dense, resilient battlefield network.


“This data-rich environment will fuel powerful algorithms that will allow commanders to better understand, shape, and adapt to complex and contested physical and information environments,” the report continues. “Low-latency communications will enable new generations of unmanned and autonomous weapons systems across all domains. The warfighter will be empowered with far richer access to data at the tactical edge, so that even small units can achieve strategic effects.”


Some of characteristics of 5G which are very important to military are:

5G technologies plan to use three segments of the electromagnetic spectrum (“the spectrum”): high band (also called millimeter wave, or MMW), which operates between around 24 and 300 GHz; mid band, which operates between 1 GHz and 6 GHz; and low band, which operates below 1 GHz. Mid band and low band are often collectively referred to as sub-6. 5G deployment thus relies on MMW for high-speed, high-bandwidth communications and on sub-6 waves for nationwide coverage.


There are opportunities and limitations, advantages and disadvantages to the different frequency bands, including with respect to the military’s future use. The low band,  is characterized by a high degree of robustness and increased area coverage. Still, it is not particularly fast compared to the other two bands. The medium band handles bigger volumes of data and is typically built up in suburban areas.


In the medium band, the military already have existing licences for radar installations and depend on these frequencies being taken into consideration going forwards. There are also parts of this range that are of interest to the military in connection with the group and direction-defined antenna technology (MIMO/beamforming) and 5G drone detection (multi-static radar). The medium band is also widely used in the USA for radars, missile defence, electronic warfare and monitoring airspace. However, the American Department of Defence (DoD) recently approved 3.4 and 3.5GHz frequencies for helping national technology companies to compete with China.



Millimetre wave Communication

One of the approaches for implementation of 5G is on the part of the spectrum between ~24 and 300 GHz (“High-Band Spectrum,” or “mmWave”). Millimeter waves allow faster data transfer rates, which some telecommunications companies argue is required for autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and other dataintensive applications like smart cities; however, MMW travel comparatively short distances and can be absorbed by rain or disrupted by physical objects such as buildings and vehicles. The high-frequency band requires a high cell density and extensive use of repeaters (millimetre waves suffer significant attenuation or are completely blocked by building walls and physical obstacles, and are absorbed in the atmosphere). As a result, 5G MMW technologies require installing a higher number of cell sites—at much higher cost and on a much slower deployment timeline than the sub-6 approach.


Electromagnetic waves in the millimetre-wave band offer a wide spectrum bringing extremely high speed and low latency as well as reductions in size and weight both attractive propositions for the military.Finally, the high-frequency band is interesting for the Armed Forces in terms of ultra-broadband card communication at bases and headquarters, for distributed sensors which require a lot of data communication, and for 5G satellite technology.


Pentek’s Hosking points out that the relatively short range of millimeter wave 5G signals provides some inherent security, much the same as the short range of some of today’s wireless signals helps keep users safe. “Take Bluetooth, which is a very small cell,” Hosking says. “No one farther away from about 30 feet can pick up that signal or interfere with it.” The large bandwidths also allow higher levels of encryption thus enhancing security.


Regardless of the range, having their own dedicated and harmonized frequencies will allow the military to develop new, robust and secure technology solutions for administrative and operational applications.


High Mobility connectivity

5G would also provide high-mobility connectivity, or communications on moving vehicles or soldiers. Samsung researchers have already demonstrated the world’s first data rate of 1.2 Gbps, or 150 MB per second on a vehicle cruising at over 100 km/h.


without 5G communication it would be close to impossible to fully exploit the possibilities offered by big data, artificial intelligence and cloud processing in both the military and other sectors. The same goes for getting the full-capacity effect out of hi-tech platforms such as the multi-role F35 aircraft in so-called multi-domain operations where situational information from Land, Sea, Air and Space is processed in a fifth domain – the cyber domain- allowing us to react by combining effectors from these domains.


American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin is developing technology to connect military vehicles to 5G networks. Called the Open Architecture Processor, the tech looks like a laptop computer, roughly the size and weight of a car battery. Program manager David Rohall said that the device smoothly links military vehicles of any age to a 5G network to ensure improved communications on the battlefield.


A Lockheed 5G development team used two commercial Humvees to test its latency time in a real-world environment at the company’s electronics test site. Latency time is the time delay for communication in the field. Military units prefer lower latency for an advantage in making quick decisions. According to Rohall, the test produced a total round time of approximately 30 milliseconds, which is considered “very low latency.”


Mesh and MANET based Battlefield Networks

Military prefers wireless mesh networks which are more robust and self-healing. 5G shall enable mesh networking to enable devices to communicate with each other directly rather than via base stations, which should increase the bandwidth, lower power consumption, reduce infrastructure costs, and improve spectral efficiency.


In the modern battlespace the traditional infrastructure is vulnerable therefore militaries prefer Mobile Ad-Hoc Network (MANET) which is an infrastructure less wireless network of autonomous collection of mobile nodes that distribute coordination and control.5G will enable MANETs that can provide unique capabilities for tactical military communication because of their exceptional flexibility, security, and reliability. Military Adhoc sensor networks can be deployed for battlefield surveillance, detecting and characterizing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) attacks.


Persistent Systems in New York City specializes in mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) technology for a variety of applications such as controlling groups of unmanned vehicles in difficult terrain. Persistent has expertise in real-time switching between different RF frequencies to find the most reliable pathways in a given set of conditions. Company engineers make use of satellite communications (SATCOM) channels, land mobile radio, and RF repeaters mounted on unmanned aircraft and even on other handheld radios to sample the RF environment constantly and adapt in real time to changing conditions.


Networking separate infantry warfighters also is a potential application of 5G, says Rodger Hosking, vice president of embedded computing and signals intelligence expert Pentek Inc. in Upper Saddle River, N.J. . “The military increasingly relies on data-connected warfighters. That means connecting soldiers, vehicles, command posts, ships, satellites, and planes with information that consists of everything that you know, using voice, data, imagery, and signals-intelligence information. 5G gives the military the potential for boosting the data rate capabilities between the links of these operations by 20 to 100 times faster than the current state of the art of LTE or 4G wireless speeds.”


Space and Satellites

Satellites and other non-terrestrial platforms such as airships, UAVs or blimps will also present effective communication means for 5G based networks for connection of remote areas and airborne / seaborne platforms. Implementation of 5G on next-generation of MEO and LEO satellite systems may enable wide coverage areas, highly resilient, and secure special purpose networks for Defence and Security.


UAV Communications

UAVs can be employed as aerial communications platforms (flying base stations or mobile relays) by mounting communications transceivers to provide communications services to ground targets in high traffic demand and overloaded situations, which is commonly referred to as UAV-assisted communications. On the other hand, UAVs can also be used as aerial nodes to enable multitude of applications ranging from cargo delivery to surveillance, which is commonly referred to as cellular-connected UAVs. 5G soldiers could receive real-time streaming video from aircraft, or a UAV flying over a battlefield.


Warfighters in an aircraft could use augmented-reality goggles to control drones launched off the aircraft. It will improve the lethality of killer drones and war robots by giving them the capacity of identifying, following and targeting people on the basis of facial recognition and other characteristics.


Military IOT Enabler

The 5G is also a key technology that shall enable IoT and Military internet of things (MIOT). Analogous to IoT, Military internet of things (MIOT) comprising multitude of platforms, ranging from ships to aircraft to ground vehicles to weapon systems. The Military will employ sensor fusion; merging and analyzing data from devices and sensors such as surveillance cameras, detection sensors, base stations and gateways, smartphones, radios and communication nodes, and not least of all manned and autonomous vehicles and drones.


Based on this information, models and usable real-time data are generated for logistics and area control, intelligence and situational awareness, command and control, and finally active protection of combatant units and bases. Further, these IOT NWs will be connected with secure networks to large data centers, that will apply both AI and machine leaning and data science techniques and 5G will enable real time sharing of the information to command and control centres and creating a common operating picture of the battlefield, thereby improving situational awareness, and battlefield dominance.


5G will also be extremely important for the secret services and special forces. It will enable control and espionnage systems which are far more efficient than those we use today. IOT can also be valuable for Security forces, who can employ digital sensors and security cameras combined with sophisticated image analysis and pattern-recognition software to enable more effective facility monitoring for security threats.


Swarms Enabler

A swarm is generally defined as a group of behaving entities that together coordinate to produce a significant or desired result or behavior. UAV swarm has the potential to distribute tasks and coordinate operation of many drones with little to no operator intervention. Specific development of autonomous swarms with UAV-to-UAV communication and coordination ability is central to advancing the utility of UAV swarms. 5G could be used to transfer sensor data between operators and uninhabited vehicles and to network vehicles, potentially enabling new military concepts of operations, such as swarming (i.e., cooperative behavior in which vehicles autonomously coordinate to achieve a task).


A typical packet size for UAV communications is between 17 and 263 bytes. While 4G speeds are sufficient for these packets, 5G will allow for additional data streaming including data types such as video from payload cameras or data from payload light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems. The ability to achieve low latency is important for UAV swarm communication.


A central objective to 5G communications is machine to machine (M2M) communications. M2M communication capabilities of 5G would provide a natural backbone for UAV swarm environments. The ability to transmit real time telemetry data between all UAVs connected to the cellular network allows for sense and avoid methodologies to be followed.  The use of cellular networks for UAV swarm would greatly increase swarm efficiency and commercial utility especially in the presence of upcoming 5G networks with M2M communication capabilities.


Hypersonic Enabler

Military experts foresee that the 5G system will play an essential role for the use of hypersonic weapons – missiles, including those bearing nuclear warheads, which travel at a speed superior to Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound). In order to guide them on variable trajectories, changing direction in a fraction of a second to avoid interceptor missiles, it is necessary to gather, elaborate and transmit enormous quantities of data in a very short time. The same thing is necessary to activate defences in case of an attack with this type of weapon – since there is not enough time to take such decisions, the only possibility is to rely on 5G automatic systems.


Security Threats

There has also been a great deal of debate surrounding 5G and its vulnerability, not least in relation to radio equipment and key components for the 5G core network from the Chinese company Huawei. Several countries have chosen to ban Chinese technology from their critical infrastructure, the digital foundations of the nation. The largest telecommunications companies in Norway have also decided against Huawei ever since the new Norwegian Security Act came into force in 2019.


The 5G network, as a weapon of high-tech capacity, will also become the target for cyber-attacks and war actions carried out with new generation weapons. The dependence of many critical services on 5G networks would make the consequences of systemic and widespread disruption particularly serious. 5G will connect critical infrastructure that will require more security to ensure safety of not only the critical infrastructure but safety of the society as a whole. For example, a security breach in the online power supply systems can be catastrophic for all the electrical and electronic systems that the society depends upon.


This is also threat to defence and security whose installations also depend on Electricity grid. Similarly, data is critical in military decision making, therefore there is threat of critical data being corrupted and transmitted by the 5G networks. .As a result, ensuring the cybersecurity of 5G networks is an issue of strategic importance when cyber-attacks are on the rise and more sophisticated than ever.


The security, compromised supply chain and privacy issues pose a serious threat to national security. There is need to aim for ‘Secure 5G’ development. This will also enable security to be built right into design from start, and making the networks more resilient to attacks. Adding features afterwards is less effective and often more costly than including proper mechanisms from the beginning. National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) is an organization with mandate to facilitate safe, secure and resilient Information Infrastructure for Critical Sectors of the Nation. It can perform vulnerability assessment of 5G, evolving protection strategies, development of appropriate plans, and adoption of standards, in respect of protection of Critical Information Infrastructure.


The DOD 5G Strategy document puts a priority on 5G security. “DOD must assess 5G vulnerabilities and develop security principles for equipment, architecture, and operations,” the document states. “In-depth protection also requires adoption of compliance standards for 5G design, cyber security for 5G infrastructure, and implementation of a ‘zero-trust’ security model.”


The notion of zero-trust requires all users — even those inside the organization’s enterprise network — to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before getting access to applications and data. This approach capitalizes on advanced technologies like multifactor authentication, identity and access management, and next-generation endpoint security to verify the user’s identity and maintain system security.


Research from the Journal of ICT Standardization suggests a multi-pronged approach to 5G security, including trust models, Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA), and an Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)-based secondary authentication, among others. 5G could continue to extend the user trust by opening up security capabilities as a service to individual users and vertical industries.


 Military 5G Requirements

Defense system designers are  building compatibility with 5G wireless cellular systems into next-generation military communications equipment. However, military systems have many additional requirements. Military designers can take advantage of different, more ruggedized components and packaging. They need to be integrated into military-specific communications architectures such multiband radios, MANET topologies and defensive countermeasures.


Designing the 5G antennas themselves in the small size and rugged packaging that the military needs also will be a challenge. “One of the key things in 5G is the ability to manage these antennas,” Hosking says. “You have to think about the dimensions of these 64-element antennas, because the space between the elements gets tighter as you go up in frequency. You could have an array in a fairly small area, but the electronics still must fit in that area. Getting the electronics of the transmit/receive antennas integrated into that space is a challenge.”


Separate “defence area” on the 5G network

With the properties and capacities offered by 5G technology, we can take a giant leap forward  the military can gather their IoMT together into one dedicated slice – a “defence NW slice” – with robust security algorithms and procedures, and where the properties and real-time speed of 5G technology (with performance in line with fibre optics) mean the guaranteed quality of service (QoS).


With the help of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), it is possible to assign private, specially adapted user areas – so-called “network slices” – to different sectors, industries and enterprises on the 5G core network. These areas are built on top of the underlying mobile network. They are central to 5G technology since it is not possible to combine all the capacities previously mentioned without extreme investments. For example, it is impossible to combine very low delay with massive area coverage (up to 1 million units per square kilometre, ref. massive machine-type communication; mMTC). The private slices are therefore adapted based on critical parameters for each sector or enterprise, or different defence applications.


For example, a private 5G “Defence Slice” with high, prioritized speed and low latency will simplify heavy end-to-end encryption using keys that can only be read by the recipients. This is what is being tested in the 5G Vertical Innovation Infrastructure (VINNI) project which the Armed Forces are participating in.


These sorts of private areas are also of interest for other key agencies in the public sector, regardless of whether these agencies are part of a national defence structure or not. It is, for example, an expectation that a dedicated 5G network slice will replace the current emergency network in Norway from 2027 (after the Norwegian government decided back in 2017 that the next generation emergency network – NGN – should be based on a commercial mobile network). This network then recognizes that the coupled unit belongs to the “emergency services slice” and prioritizes it over other network traffic and communication.


This all means that the military can get the most out of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and advanced reality (AR). They can also react to emergency situations and control drones and vessels – individually or in swarms- in real-time via the mobile network.


While defence NW slice can be made reilient to cyber attacks, Military IoT (MIoT) networks will also need to be resilient in the face of combat losses, electronic jamming, deception operations, and a host of other threats. The new security techniques and methods that enhance the resiliency of the MIoT, such that it can be hardened against tampering and adversarial compromise, and continue operating under attacks are required. These include research in efficient applied cryptography for both systems and data security.


Systems should be robust to jamming, supporting techniques to actively track jamming signals and applying automatic jamming avoidance measures. They could include cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum management techniques to automatically overcome bad conditions in the communications environment. Therefore the utility of emerging 5G civilian mobile waveforms for military applications need to be explored and new military use cases and waveforms may be required to be developed.



Militaries launch 5G projects

US Defense Department officials announced in Oct 2020 the awarding of $600 million in contracts to 15 prime contractors to perform testing and evaluation of 5G technologies at five military installations across the United States, said the acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. “5G networks — and the technologies that will be built upon them — are an integral component of the National Defense Strategy,” said Michael Kratsios, during a teleconference from the Pentagon. “We at the DOD are committed to the advancement of this critical emerging technology to improve the lethality and modernization of our force.”


In Norway the military is therefore also working on several 5G technology experiments, including experimental and pilot projects such as the 5G-VINNI project where new and secure speech and data architecture is also being integrated and tested in the “defence slice”. Many of these projects are being conducted in collaboration with commercial stakeholders and businesses, which is important since Norway is home to a highly competitive environment both within and outside of the military in the area of wireless, operational and tactical communication.




5G in Defense Market

The global 5G in defense market size is projected to grow from USD 665 million in 2022 to USD 2,487 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 30.2% from 2022 to 2027.


Fifth-generation (5G) wireless system, or 5G mobile network, is an advanced telecommunication technology that enables high-speed data transfer and high system spectral efficiency (implies larger data volume) with relatively low battery consumption. It also offers the provision of connecting several devices simultaneously. 5G in defense would enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems and processing and enable new methods of command and control (C2). Factors such as the are the Higher network speed and lower latency in 5G , and growing adoption of autonomous and connected devices are driving factors assisting the growth of the 5G in defense market.


Increase in autonomous defense vehicles, drones, and robots and rise in support of government toward the development of 5G are expected to drive the global 5G in defense market growth during the forecast period. However, cybersecurity threats to 5G network and high infrastructure costs for the deployment of 5G are anticipated to hamper the growth of the market during the forecast period. Moreover, technological advancements in 5G network and upgradation of military bases are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the market in future.


5G is an upcoming technology, and for developing, managing, and successfully implementing 5G infrastructure, companies require protocols and rules to follow. At present, very few countries are utilizing 5G in the military arena, resulting in a lack of standards and protocols. There is a delay by the international community in the use of 5G for the military due to the unavailability of adequate hardware suppliers. Some of the major suppliers are Huawei (China), Nokia (Finland), and Ericsson (Sweden).

As the 5G infrastructure for defense is in the development phase, the companies involved in this technology have to face issues related to access to information, experimentation with military platforms, and availability of regulations for development and testing, among others. The shortage of skilled manpower is also an issue faced by defense firms. As 5G technology in the military is still in its early stage of lifecycle, the workforce possessing in-depth knowledge of this technology is limited. Thus, the impact of this restraining factor is likely to continue during the initial years of the forecast period.



The 5G in defense market is segmented on the basis of communication infrastructure, core network technology, network type, chipset, platform, and region. Based on communication infrastructure, it is further divided into small cell, macro cell, and radio access network (RAN). Based on core network technology, the market is categorized into software defined networking (SDN), fog computing (FC), mobile edge computing (MEC), and network functions virtualization (NFV). Depending on network type, it is fragmented into enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) and massive machine type communications (mMTC). On the basis of chipset, the market is classified into application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chipset, radio-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) chipset, and millimeter wave chipset. Based on platform, the market is distributed into land, naval, and airborne. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.


By platform, the airborne segment is projected to register the highest CAGR of 34.5% during the forecast period. With advancements in 5G technology, airborne applications (such as drones) and mission-critical communications will be able to perform with increased efficiency.


North America is estimated to lead the 5G in defense market during the forecast period owing to increased investments by the US Department of Defense in 5G technology. The US is projected to be the largest developer and operator of 5G technology globally, resulting in a large share of the North American region in the global market. 5G technology in defense helps improve the processing and functioning of ISR (intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance) systems, enables new command and control systems, enhances augmented and virtual reality applications, modernizes maintenance processes, and improves efficiency in logistics supply using technologies such as blockchain. With the increasing use of connected systems through IoT, a need for low-latency communication technology has risen. The allocation of a wide frequency band to the US military has opened new opportunities for system designers to develop 5G enabled components and enhance the operational efficiency of all related systems


The 5G in defense market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Ericsson (Sweden), Huawei (China), Nokia Networks (Finland), Samsung (South Korea), NEC (Japan), Thales Group (France), L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (US), Raytheon Technologies (US), Ligado Networks (US), and Wind River Systems, Inc. (US).


Leonardo and O2 join forces to investigate innovative applications of private 5G technology in the defence and security industry

Believing in the large potential 5G technology can provide, Leonardo and O2, believe the technology can meet the high security standards demanded by the defence sector, providing security assurance within digital infrastructure.

“5G will be an important tool for the UK’s aerospace, defence and security industry as we look to stay competitive in the global market and continue to export products and services from the UK. This partnership with O2 will inform the roll-out of this technology within Leonardo and study its wider potential across our industry and customer base,” said Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director of Leonardo UK.


During the partnership, Leonardo and O2 will trial the potential for wirelessly delivering mission, support and maintenance data updates to aircrafts to speed up turnaround and times between missions, as well as improve platform reliability and meet stringent security requirements for front line military systems.


In addition the two will also investigate ways in which Leonardo’s manufacturing facilities can use 5G enabled technology to support ‘future factory’ techniques, including digital manufacturing and intelligent infrastructure. To achieve this the company will harness a private and highly secure 5G network to adopt industry 4.0 approaches while continuing to meet the security obligations.


“The partnership will explore how we can use 5G private networks in the wider defence sector, demonstrating their capability to help digitally transform a business and leveraging our ability to draw from a deep and rich application ecosystem. It’s great to be working on such an exciting programme, to leverage the technical capabilities of both businesses that’ll have real positive impacts on network solutions, mobility and security,” added Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2.


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