Lockheed Martin announced Thursday a $31 million contract awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to make the Internet secure for military use with the help of Microsoft. The Bethesda, MD-based organization is the largest information technology provider to the federal government, with core business areas centered around military aircraft, electronic systems, missiles and space capabilities. The new Military Network Protocol will avoid the structural security downfalls of TCP/IP of the Internet that we currently use. This protocol lacks a general purpose mechanism for ensuring the authenticity or privacy of the data as it moves in the network, as the TCP/IP Guide defines in its IP Security Protocols section. The lack of security embedded in our contemporary Internet is of note since it was formed as Arpanet, a distributed network for the military some decades ago, as today's Register points out.

The emphasis on cyber security is being revitalized due to land, air and space systems dependence on the Global Information Grid, and these systems are critical to every aspect of military operations, according to the Lockheed Martin press release. Besides developing router technologies to assure solid authentication and other network capabilities, the new project aims to lower need for "trained network personnel and lower overall life cycle costs for network management."

Other partners involved in this contract are Anagran, Juniper Networks and LGS Innovations. The project will involve development efforts from Stanford University as well. Lockheed Martin hopes that the new protocol will deliver a new level of security to soldiers, intelligence analysts, and regular citizens.

Lockheed Martin also appears in the Washington Post today for promoting Christopher E. Kubasik, its executive vice president of electronic systems to President and Chief Operating Officer. This restructuring is to improve oversight of the company's combat ship, fighter jet and other weapons projects.