Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has won a $31.1 million contract to design lighter, power-efficient devices that the U.S. military uses to securely transmit voice and data traffic. It is the first technology upgrade to the shoebox-shaped devices in more than two decades.
These devices are portable and can be used in a variety of airborne, land and maritime combat situations. Under a multiyear agreement, Raytheon will replace stand-alone cryptographic units with affordable, modern products that use data-scrambling algorithms to encrypt information on one end and then decrypt it on the other.
Known as VACM, for VINSON/ANDVT Crypto Modernization, the highly competitive program sets new standards for encryption performance and ease of use. Raytheon's new cryptographic module is available to select markets at a significantly lower cost than current competitive solutions.
"Our new units have the same connectors and form factors as the old ones, maintaining compatibility with the legacy installations," said Jeff Miller, director of Raytheon Network Centric Systems' Tactical Communication Systems. "This guarantees backward compatibility with all the existing platforms, greatly reducing installation and maintenance costs."
"Raytheon is using modern encryption standards so that these data-scrambling devices, and the radios they're attached to, can communicate seamlessly with one another," he said. "Securing our nation's secrets while fostering communication is paramount to victory on any battlefield, and this is exactly what Raytheon is delivering."
The VACM contract is one of the U.S. Air Force Cryptologic Systems Division's largest programs. Raytheon will initially design and test the cryptographic units before replacing the legacy systems that are in use today.
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