The Pentagon will allocate $ 600 million for contracts for “dual-use 5G experiments” at 5 US military facilities, including for “lethal use.”
The US military has partnered with more than a dozen companies for “large-scale experiments” with 5G technology, including efforts to increase the “lethality” of certain systems, as part of a $ 600 million project.
Calling 5G technology “a foundational vehicle for modernizing the entire US defense,” the Pentagon announced on Thursday a massive research initiative that will donate hundreds of millions of dollars to 15 private contractors for testing at five US military facilities.
“The Department of Defense today announced $ 600 million for 5G experiments and trials at five US military training grounds, representing the largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world.”
Selected for the project include telecommunications companies AT&T, Nokia and Ericsson, exploration and information technology contractor Booz-Allen Hamilton, research arm of General Electric, GE Research and a subsidiary of aerospace giant General Dynamics.
One initiative, led by AT&T at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, will apply 5G to “distributed command and control” systems to “aid in air, space and cyberspace combat,” improving communications for mobile command centers in combat scenarios.
At the Lewis-McCord joint base in Washington state, AT&T will also work with Booz-Allen and two other firms to develop 5G-enabled virtual reality technology for training, mission planning and even “operational use,” although the Pentagon did not provide examples of the latter.
This costly initiative will also test at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Georgia and the San Diego Naval Base in California, where companies will develop smart warehousing systems. and work on integrating 5G cellular networks with Air Force radars.
The rapid growth of 5G technology has sparked controversy not only among conspiracy supporters, but also in the field of geopolitics. The massive new Pentagon project comes amid an ongoing row between the US government and Chinese telecommunications company Huawei over its 5G services, which Washington has banned entirely, while forcing a number of European allies to do the same.
U.S. officials insist the company poses a threat to both privacy and national security, despite Huawei’s repeated denials that its systems are being used to steal data or spy on Beijing’s behalf.