USAF cryptographic units to be updated by Raytheon
Raytheon has won a contract from the US government to modernise the US Armed Forces cryptographic units under the VINSON/ANDVT Crypto Modernization (VACM) programme.
The $31.1 million contract will see the company design lighter, power-efficient devices for voice and data transmissions in the first upgrade to capabilities in more than two decades.
Raytheon revealed the multi-year contract win in a company statement issued 7 November 2011. According to the statement, Raytheon will replace stand-alone cryptographic units with affordable, modern products that use data-scrambling algorithms to encrypt information on one end and then decrypt it on the other.
The portable devices are used in airborne, land and maritime combat situations, and Raytheon will initially design and test the cryptographic units before replacing the legacy systems that are in use today.
Company spokesman Jeff Miller, director of Raytheon Network Centric Systems' Tactical Communication Systems, said that the company is using modern encryption standards so that ‘these data-scrambling devices, and the radios they're attached to, can communicate seamlessly with one another’.
‘Our new units have the same connectors and form factors as the old ones, maintaining compatibility with the legacy installations. This guarantees backward compatibility with all the existing platforms, greatly reducing installation and maintenance costs,’ he added.
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