Air Force taps ViaSat for cryptographic work

ViaSat Inc. has won a one-year, $3.1 million contract from the Air Force Cryptologic Systems Group to develop cryptographic equipment for the Space Ground Applications in Satellite System, the company announced today.

Under the contract, ViaSat of Carlsbad, Calif., will demonstrate that terrestrial, reprogrammable communications security equipment can replace existing and legacy ground equipment.

The system is based on reprogramming the ViaSat KG-250 inline network encryptor. By basing the system on an existing product, costs are expected to be lower than equipment that is developed for space applications only.

"The project is a new application for the company's information assurance technology," said Jerry Goodwin, vice president of tactical networking and information assurance for ViaSat. "It gives the company an opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of its programmable crypto-architecture, which can handle both link and network cryptographic functions," he said.

"This flexibility can help isolated communication stovepipes become more network-centric," Goodwin added.

Upon completion of the contract, the Air Force may award a production phase in which the cryptographic equipment would be produced and certified.

ViaSat, a provider of satellite and wireless communication products, has more than 950 employees and annual sales of $278.6 million, according to Hoover's Online of Austin, Texas. The company is ranked No. 96 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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