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USAF eyes data security upgrade

A defence contractor has been selected to bolster cyber security protections across the United States’ military aircraft.

user iconReporter
Fri, 16 Sep 2022
USAF eyes data security upgrade
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General Dynamics Mission Systems has announced its receipt of a $22.9 million (AU$34.2 million) contract from the US Air Force Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division.

The company has been tasked with designing, developing and delivering a classified data at rest high assurance Inline Media Encryptor (IME).

This is expected to enhance the security of classified data collected by the US Air Force’s (USAF) manned and unmanned aircraft.

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“We’re delighted to leverage our encryption expertise to enable the Air Force to deliver this critical capability,” Amy Johnson, vice president of the platform security business area in General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Cyber Systems line of business, said.

“We will bring to bear cutting-edge digital engineering methodologies to accelerate development and delivery of this enduring, adaptable solution to address the complete set of technical and security needs.”

At present, the USAF is leveraging standalone DAR IME capability — “stitched together” across multiple platforms.

According to General Dynamics, its “low-cost, low-SWaP (size, weight and power)” design would draw from capabilities across its ProtecD@R portfolio of DAR encryptors.

The offering is tipped to secure digitally stored classified data across aircraft “in an integrated approach”.

Digital engineering is set to be incorporated with the IME technology in a bid to ensure the capability can be modified in line with changing warfighting requirements.

This is the latest of a number of major defence contracts awarded to the prime in recent months.

Last month, General Dynamics NASSCO secured a US$1.4 billion (AU$2 billion) US Navy contract modification to construct a sixth Expeditionary Sea Base ship (ESB 8) and two additional John Lewis Class fleet oilers (T-AO 211 and 212).

This builds on the $600 million (AU$867.5 million) previously secured for the procurement of long-lead time materials for the three ships.

This latest contract modification includes an option to procure an additional oiler, T-AO 213, taking the total value to US$2.7 billion (AU$3.9 billion).

[Related: General Dynamics wins major Abrams contract]

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