ViaSat to develop embedded crypto for military handhelds with sensitive and secret data
JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas, 29 Oct. 2015. U.S. Air Force information security experts needed advanced embedded cryptography capability for small, lightweight military handheld devices that need crypto to handle sensitive and classified data. They found their solution from ViaSat Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, announced a $13.2 million five-year contract to ViaSat Monday for the Mini Crypto program, which seeks to develop embedded cryptographic capability for handheld tactical devices with integrated National Security Agency (NSA) tenets.
Mini Crypto is a small, low power, self-contained cryptographic module that can be embedded in a variety of communication devices to protect data and ensure the authentication of those communicating with it.
The Mini Crypto program will secure information sharing not only for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) operations, but also for secure communications with coalition partners and friendly forces, Air Force officials say.
Many modern warfighting devices on the battlefield are small, lightweight, and power-efficient, and support sensitive and classified data that must be protected, officials say.
These modern warfighting missions require modern key management for mission-time generation and over-the-air distribution of crypto keys to tactical devices. Without a cryptographic solution in these tactical devices, communications increasingly may become vulnerable to compromise and exploitation, experts point out.
The Mini Crypto program seeks to develop and build embedded cryptographic capability for size-, weight-, and power (SwAP)-constrained tactical devices that require NSA-mandated data security.
ViaSat will handle full-scale development, low-rate initial production, and full-scale production of Mini Crypto program by designing, developing, building and integrating all Mini Crypto Modules, including hardware and software.
In the initial part of the program, ViaSat will develop and deliver four prototypes to demonstrate limited capabilities of the Mini Crypto module, as well as develop three emulators to develop functionalities and interfaces of Mini Crypto to help with systems integration.
On this contract ViaSat will do the work in Carlsbad, Calif., and should be finished by October 2020. For more information contact ViaSat online at www.viasat.com, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc.