Army, Engility to Develop Universal Encryptor Chip for Communication Devices

electronics motherboard microchip_EBiz The U.S. Army Materiel Command‘s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center has partnered with an Engility-led team to develop a universal encryptor for all communications devices used by the military.

The Army said Wednesday the Reprogrammable Single Chip Universal Encryptor or RESCUE aims to cancel out the need for numerous cryptographic engine cores to control cost and time spent in the transmission of classified information.

Transmission of sensitive data to and from the U.S. Army requires certification from the National Security Agency — a process that could get lengthy if NSA has to review the entire system each time, the service branch said.

“We expect a product review to take around six months, which is down from the standard time that can last up to about 24 months, more or less, to get a certification for a device,” said Project Lead Donald Coulter.

The Defense Department selected CERDEC to oversee the development of RESCUE since the center’s space and terrestrial communications directorate has the cryptographic research and development capabilities to develop the desired product, the Army said.

The development contract for RESCUE was awarded to Engility in Aug. 21, 2015.

“The contract award for the RESCUE development effort is public, and we will have all the rights with the explicit understanding that whoever wants to do a production contract or who wants to develop a new capability based on this technology — we have everything we need to either utilize it again in its current form, be able to tailor or modify it to reproduce these things,” said Rocio Bauer, CERDEC S&TCD cybersecurity and information assurance division tactical network protection branch chief.

The Army said CERDEC expects RESCUE to be NSA-certified and ready for use by September 2017, but stakeholders that plan to use the encryptor can reach out to CERDEC before then.

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