Arms globocorp Lockheed Martin announced today that it has won a $31m contract from the famous Pentagon crazy-ideas bureau, DARPA, to reinvent the internet and make it more suitable for military use. Microsoft will also be involved in the effort.
The main thrust of the effort will be to develop a new Military Network Protocol, which will differ from old hat such as TCP/IP in that it will offer "improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level".
"New network threats and attacks require revolutionary protection concepts," said Lockheed cyber-arsenal chieftain John Mengucci. "Through this project, as well as our cyber Mission Maker initiatives, we are working to enhance cyber security and ensure that warfighters* can fight on despite cyber attacks."
Lockheed will be partnered with Anagran, Juniper Networks, LGS Innovations, Stanford University and - of course - Microsoft in developing the MNP. Apart from that, Lockheed's own Information Systems & Global Services-Defense tentacle will work on amazing new hardware.
According to the firm:
Lockheed Martin's team will develop router technologies that include strong authentication and self configuration capabilities to improve security, reduce the need for trained network personnel and lower overall life cycle costs for network management.
The original Arpanet, which turned into the TCP/IP internet we all know and love, was developed for DARPA's predecessor. It was at least nominally intended for military use, though in reality it took off first in academia. There is some mild irony in the sight of DARPA deciding to more or less repeat the process all over again at this late date. ®
* Perhaps one might speak of "warfs" for short.