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Two companies compete for US Army cryptographic key orders

12th August 2021 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Army is making progress in its effort to field the NGLD-M encryption key to manage key material and mission planning data, (Photo: US Army)

​The Next Generation Load Device-Medium is a ruggedised, battery-powered, handheld device to manage and transfer cryptographic key material and mission planning data.

Sierra Nevada and General Dynamics Mission Systems will compete for orders to provide the network-enabled Next Generation Load Device-Medium (NGLD-M) cryptographic key for the US Army, the DoD announced on 10 August.

The contract has an overall value of $744.22 million.

The US Army issued an RfP for NGLD-M in November 2020. A total of five bids were received, among them CACI offering its Mission Crypto Loader.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of 8 August 2031.

The US Army stated when it released the RfP that the maximum requirement is for 265,000 NGLD-M units.

NGLD-M is an attempt to modernise cryptographic key load devices that are essential for joint service network security. It will replace the ageing Simple Key Loader which dates from the early 2000s.

According to the US Army, the new key will be a ruggedised, battery-powered, handheld device to manage and transfer cryptographic key material and mission planning data.

Modern cryptographic algorithms will be transferred by NGLD-M to counter the threat posed by increased proliferation of cyber and EW threats.

NGLD-M will support all command echelons across the US armed forces, other US federal government agencies and allied foreign militaries. 

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