Linux to run U.S. Navy drone fleet

Linux will be used by the United States Navy to run its fleet of flying drones in order to avoid potential malware attacks.

According to a report by the Register, the Navy contract is worth $27,883,883, and calls for “a Linux transition on the tactical control system software for vertical take-off (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle ground control stations.”

The Navy currently has one VTOL drone, although it plans to expand the fleet to 168 drones in the future. The drone “has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to the soldier in contact.”

According to The Register, “After a malware attack on the Air Force’s Windows-based drone-control system last year, there has been a wholesale move to Linux for security reasons.”

Meanwhile the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) is also preparing for Linux system integration, and has released guidelines detailing how government agencies can use open-source code.

“The US government can directly combine GPL and proprietary/classified software into a single program arbitrarily, as long as the result is never conveyed outside the U.S. government, but this approach should not be taken lightly,” said the guidelines. “When taking this approach, contractors hired to modify the software must not retain copyright or other rights to the result (else the software would be conveyed outside the US government).”

Read the full story at: The Register.

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Linux to run U.S. Navy drone fleet