US Military Drones to Start Running on Linux

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Raytheon is making a bold move: it's dumping the proprietary operating system Solaris in favour of Linux for the control systems of its US military drones.

According to a May 2nd Avionics Intelligence report, Raytheon entered into a $15.8 million contract with the US Navy earlier this month to upgrade their control systems to Linux. The first vehicle to be upgraded will be the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter, pictured above.

The switch is supposed to make for a more intuitive control system and should make future software upgrades more straightforward, saving money in the long term. Still, it's an impressive amount of trust to place in an open source OS project, and a move that will likely irk Oracle, the developers of Solaris.

In fact, in October 2013 Oracle published a white paper arguing that open source software is unacceptably risky for military applications. Clearly, the US Military and Raytheon disagree. [Linux Gizmos, The Register]

Image by Raytheon