U.S. Air Force experts are asking Raytheon Co. to provide encryption modules for B-2 airborne radios under terms of a $22.9 million five-year contract announced last week.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, are asking the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems segment in Largo, Fla., to produce the AN/ARC-234 crypto-modernized baseband input/output (BBIO) module.
The contract calls for Raytheon to provide crypto-modernized, National Security Agency (NSA) Type 1-certified, cryptographic radios that will replace the legacy AN/ARC-234 device, focused on embedded-crypto, form and fit replacements for the BBIO module.
This contract helps the Air Force upgrade the AN/ARC-234 Airborne Integrated Terminal Group (AITG) communication system to comply with NSA Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) Policy 3-9 Cryptographic Modernization Initiative (CMI). The AN/ARC-234 AITG is a satellite communications (SATCOM) system for the B-2 stealth bomber.
The AN/ARC-234 is a single AITG radio set that consists of five line replaceable units (LRUs). The five LRUs are the radio receiver transmitter (AIT), remote control unit (RCU), fill panel, low noise amplifier/diplexer (LNAD), and mounting tray for the AIT.
The NSA requires a modernization of the AN/ARC-234 as part of the NSA's Cryptographic Modernization Initiative (CMI). This effort will require modernization of both the hardware and software of the AITG communication system.
The Air Force is awarding the contract to Raytheon because the company is the developer of the crypto-modernized Baseband Input/Output module for the AN/ARC-234 radio. Raytheon also is the sole developer, manufacturer, and maintainer of the AN/ARC-234 radio, and owns the data rights to the radio.
The ARC-234 is a piece of highly specialized equipment, requiring extensive National Security Agency (NSA) Type 1 certification processes for the device and the facility in which it is produced, Air Force officials say.
A Type 1 product is a device or system that has been certified by the NSA for use in cryptographically securing classified US Government information.
Type 1 is the highest level of NSA information assurance certification possible. It includes testing and formal analysis of cryptographic security, functional security, tamper resistance, emissions security, and security of the product development and manufacturing processes.
On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Largo, Fla., and should be finished by October 2020. For more information contact Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems online at www.raytheon.com.