Cassidian to deliver encryption technology for Eurofighter
Cassidian will deliver ‘next-generation’ encryption technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon programme in 2012, the company announced on 20 July.
The final trial of production encryption units will take place by Cassidian and BAE Systems over July and August this year, with the aim to fit units onto operational aircraft before the end of the year.
According to the company, the encryption technology has been developed by Cassidian over several years and will be entering the final validation step this summer.
‘Encryption is a critical cyber security technique that ensures mission data is securely exchanged between friendly forces,’ a company statement said.
‘The equipment – Single Point Fill – is an innovation that provides a major step forward for the management of multi-crypto platforms, potentially reducing the key loading process from one hour to less than one minute on a daily basis.’
The Eurofighter Typhoon will be the first aircraft to be equipped with the encryption technology developed by Cassidian with support from Raytheon Systems Ltd. The integration of Single Point Fill units onto aircraft is expected to commence on the UK fleet this year.
Cassidian noted that modern military aircraft require multiple secure communications systems to enable them to operate in a network centric environment; including radio, IFF, GPS and data links. Each of these systems typically uses a specific cryptographic protection device that must be supplied with key variables and other critical configuration data in a highly secure manner.
Previously this required the specific information for such equipment to be loaded individually using potentially different data input devices.
‘This has made encryption management a time consuming and labour intensive task, often requiring erasure and re-keying between missions when aircraft are powered down.
‘Single Point Fill has been designed to manage the security of data input fill to these multiple communication systems on board the aircraft using one secure single point.’
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