SafeNet wins DOD network security deal

SafeNet Inc. won a $150 million contract from the Defense Department for its new top-secret grade encryptor technology, the company announced last week. The deal is the largest contract in the network security products company's history, according to SafeNet officials.

The Belcamp, Md., company also received an $18 million delivery order for about 2,000 KIV-7M Link Encryptor units under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. The units will ship early this month.

The contract is about three times larger than the company expected. The initial award represents about one-half the company's minimal market projections for this product, said Chris Feede, SafeNet senior vice president and general manager of the company's enterprise security division, in a printed statement.

The KIV-7M is the first encryption product to be fully compliant with the government's cryptographic modernization program, designed to improve the level of security on the country's top-secret communications, Feede said during a followup conference call with analysts.

The technology incorporates the latest security algorithms, is compliant with the National Security Agency's Link Encryptor family interoperability specification and is compatible with previous versions of the KIV-7 family. It also is interoperable with the KG-194/A series of encryptors and can be upgraded to provide network interoperability. The units are installed in military Humvees, tanks, aircraft, submarines and backpacks.

SafeNet's other federal government clients include the Homeland Security Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

SafeNet provides network security products using encryption technology to secure electronic commerce transactions and communication over computer networks for the government and commercial sectors. The company has more than 800 workers and had 2004 revenue of $201.6 million.

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