Army’s Standards-Compliant Universal Encryption Chip Enters Final Testing

Army’s Standards-Compliant Universal Encryption Chip Enters Final Testing
Universal Encryption

The U.S. Army has commenced final testing for a reprogrammable cryptographic module that works as a universal chip that can support communications for computers, satellites, radios, unmanned aerial systems and ground infrastructure, AFCEA reported Wednesday.

The REprogrammable Single Chip Universal Encryptor (RESCUE) utilizes encryption algorithms from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Security Agency (NSA) to ensure baseline compliance. The Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center leads the RESCUE program.

Brian Lyttle, chief of the cybersecurity and information assurance division at the C5ISR Center, said RESCUE is designed to support the installation of updates in the field to mitigate the need for depot-level maintenance. The team is concluding initial testing activities for RESCUE and is modifying its design to address potential issues, he noted. 

According to Lyttle, RESCUE has dual-use potential and can support industry operations such as power, energy, healthcare and finance. He added that he envisions cooperative research and development or licensing agreements for the encryption technology in the future.

In July, the Army released the draft solicitation for Next-Generation Load Device-Medium program which seeks a technical data package for RESCUE that meets cryptography requirements for the platform’s subcomponents.

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