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 2 Avionics Intelligence report, Raytheon entered into a $US15.8 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 a 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]