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Lockheed Martin Demos U-2 Dragon Lady Aircraft With Kubernetes Cloud; Jeff Babione Quoted

Jeff Babione Skunk Works VP
Jeff Babione, Skunk Works VP, GM, Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated the use of Kubernetes-based processing aboard a U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft as a precursor to achieving real-time software deliveries during flights.

The Kubernetes containerization technology test, conducted in November, supports an effort to create a secure software development environment that allows aircraft to accommodate software updates when airborne, Lockheed said Monday.

Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, said the demonstration was intended to expand computational resources available to operational aircraft.

The Kubernetes system works to automate the management and execution of containerized applications. The overall effort aims to help aircraft crews adapt to sudden needs via Kubernetes and DevSecOps, a security-focused software development approach.

A Kubernetes cloud configuration allowed Lockheed to speed up the software delivery process, reducing the supposedly months-long timeline to a matter of hours. U-2's Kubernetes cloud expanded the aircraft's connectivity range and distributed datalinks.

The company used an Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer to operate the Kubernetes configuration aboard U-2.

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Written by Nichols Martin

a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, produces articles on the federal government's technology and business interests. The coverage of these articles include government contracting, cybersecurity, information technology, health care and national security.

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