HERNDON, Va., 22 April 2009. Making it easier to develop highly secure communication systems, Objective Interface Systems, Inc. (OIS) announced today that ORBexpress is the first communications middleware ever to be evaluated under the Common Criteria, the world's most widely adopted security certification standard.
ORBexpress is undergoing this certification for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter's Communications, Navigation and Identification (CNI) system, an advanced and complex avionics system that must be certified to comply with rigorous security requirements. The certification of ORBexpress will save programs significant time and money by making it easier and faster to develop and certify secure systems using fully evaluated COTS communications middleware.
The CNI system, being developed by Northrop Grumman for the F-35's prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, is a crucial component for the success of the F-35's advanced warfighting mission. The CNI system needs the highest level of security to insure seamless and uninterrupted performance on the battlefield.
"As with any system involving national security, the F-35 needs to depend on certified software. Lockheed Martin is responding by selecting COTS products that are certified to the Common Criteria, the international standard for security evaluations," said Dr. Ben Calloni, Fellow for Security and Sr. Research Program Manager for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "ORBexpress is the only communications middleware being certified to EAL-4+. By selecting it for the CNI project, we are demonstrating our commitment to building secure systems with evaluated products."
The Northrop Grumman CNI system uses software defined radios based on the Software Communications Architecture (SCA). Developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), the SCA uses the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) as the communications middleware framework. ORBexpress meets the rigorous requirements for JTRS radios transmitting classified data.
Joe Jacob, senior vice president of OIS, commented further on the evaluation of ORBexpress: "The use of evaluated software in national security applications is important because using evaluated software is mandatory according to policies set by the highest government levels. In addition to saving many engineer months during the development process, ORBexpress also saves the JSF program a significant amount of money by reducing the number of engineer months required for certifying the CNI system."
Mr. Jacob added: "The Common Criteria evaluates not just the code but also the quality of the development and engineering processes. This evaluation provides independent verification of the quality of our product."