ViaSat takes on mini cryptographic work for Air Force

ViaSat Inc. has won a $13.2 million contract to build small, low power cryptographic modules that can be embedded into communication devices.

The module is known as a mini crypto and is used to protect data and ensure authentication of those communicating with the device.

ViaSat will provide engineering and manufacturing development to bring the devices through low-rate initial productions a done to full-rate production and related support. The Air Force contract runs through Oct. 30, 2020.

Seven companies competed for the work.

The devices are supposed to improve battlefield communications by securing data as it is being transmitted among various devices, particularly between unmanned aerial vehicles as well as smartphones.

“Without a cryptographic solution in these tactical devices, communications may become increasingly vulnerable to compromise and exploitation,” according to the solicitation. “Additionally, analysis showed an embeddable solution does not exist to address the full set of security needs.”

At an industry day early in the development of the contract, the Air Force said it was looking for up to 10,000 devices that would cost $1,000, according to an article by Defense Systems



About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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