Army wants better crypto for radios

WHAT: A request for information from the Army's Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T) for ideas on upgrading the cryptographic hardware and software in its radios.

WHY: The Army wants to better secure the radios it uses on the battlefield by outfitting them with modern cryptographic keys. PEO C3T is the Army office in charge of providing soldiers in inhospitable environments, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, with durable communications gear.

The contracting work would require engineering, software and hardware development, and testing and evaluation, among other tasks.

The doctrine underpinning the RFI's quest for better crypto-backed radios is a 2011 Joint Chiefs of Staff instruction that requires voice communications transmitting controlled unclassified information to be protected by approved forms of encryption.

The Army doesn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater: The upgraded “radios shall retain the same legacy functionality and capabilities,” the RFI states.

The RFI lists a few categories of radios that need upgrading, including those dubbed “software-defined radios.” Officials are encouraging prospective vendors to team up to make sure they cover all the radios that need to be reconfigured.

Click here to read the RFI. Responses are due by Aug. 2.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 07, 2016 at 2:58 PM


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