Lockheed partners with Red Hat to deliver faster F-22 upgrades

8 May 2019 (Last Updated May 8th, 2019 11:45)

Lockheed Martin has partnered with Red Hat to create an open architecture to accelerate the delivery of software capabilities to the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

Lockheed partners with Red Hat to deliver faster F-22 upgrades
A Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter streaks by at the 2008 Joint Services Open House (JSOH) airshow at Andrews AFB. Credit: Rob Shenk.

Lockheed Martin has partnered with Red Hat to create an open architecture to accelerate the delivery of software capabilities to the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The open architecture created by the companies is based on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

The companies worked together through an eight-week residency in Red Hat Open Innovation Labs to modernise the application development process for the service’s fleet of F-22 jets.

The collaborated effort enabled Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to replace the waterfall development process previously used for F-22 Raptor upgrades as it was unable to get critical capabilities to the troop faster.

The company found the platform no longer fit to support its drive for software-led innovation.

“By working with the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs team, we changed everything, our toolchain, our process, and most importantly, our culture.”

Lockheed implemented an agile methodology and DevSecOps practices that suit the needs of the USAF.

Lockheed Martin F-16/F-22 Product Development vice-president Michael Cawood said: “When you have a world-renowned platform like the F-22 Raptor, adversaries are constantly looking for ways to counter it. This means we must constantly add capabilities and improve the F-22. And we must do it faster than ever before.

“By working with the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs team, we changed everything, our toolchain, our process, and most importantly, our culture.

“With our new culture firmly rooted in DevSecOps and agile, and a more flexible platform based on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, the F-22 team will continue its work to ensure the Raptor meets America’s defence needs.”

The focus of the project was also to enable Lockheed to create a team culture rooted in innovation and collaboration to transform its approach to application development.

Red Hat Open Innovation Labs has helped the company to execute the agile transformation process.