Crypto discuss how link encryption can be used to provide easy security and how to be...
Military Encryption in the Armed Forces Today
Category: Network Security | 25/11/2008 - 11:23:54
Voice is still the fastest and most natural way of communicating from person to person, and it needs no or few facilities. To exchange sensor data or to control weapons platforms, however, voice is not suitable. Data links are used for this purpose.
Military Encrypted Communication
Today, radio communications take place over an extremely wide frequency range. Many different transmission ranges, operating modes and bandwidths are available. In many civilian and military organisations, these options are used in parallel. It is therefore vital that the military grade encryption is standardised and can guarantee compatibility between the different applications.
The MultiCom HC-2650 Military Encrypted Communication unit is ideal for protecting communications in military contexts. This universal encryption platform has been successfully installed in helicopters, for example the Super Puma type. Further projects involving the NH90 and Dauphin helicopters are under way. The HC-2650 was designed for military application and is therefore accordingly robust and suitable for problem-free use in motor vehicles, tanks, aircraft and helicopters. Installation in civilian aircraft (e.g. for VIPs, such as Presidential transport), is also possible, and has in fact been implemented.
The “multi” of the HC-2650 MultiCom covers many aspects: multi-radio means that all known radio units can be connected; multi-band means encryption over all frequency bands used, multi-application covers voice (in various modes for HF and V/UHF), data (with integrated or external modem), messaging and IP/VPN.
The unit automatically detects voice or data communication, which means that the same radio channel can be used for both voice and data without requiring intervention from the operator. Multi-algo means that several algorithms can be used, a requirement for multinational manoeuvres (the national algorithm and also the Allied algorithm).
Special features for air combat forces
Limited space on board planes and helicopters can be a serious problem. It is therefore not always possible to position the military grade encryption units in locations where the operator (usually the pilot) has access to them and can make and change settings. It must therefore be possible to connect with the encryption unit remotely. For such cases, a remote control unit will soon be available for the HC-2650 MultiCom Radio Encryption unit. Various special mounting kits are also available to facilitate the installation of the encryption units. This means the HC-2650 can be fitted on board a helicopter in the optimum location, taking account of space-saving and other factors. The operator still has access to it, ensuring that communication is protected at all times.
Encrypted messaging for command and reporting level
Messaging indisputably has its advantages at the command and reporting level. Messaging is the military version of e-mail or the modern form of the ‘message runner’. Written commands and situation reports are clear, unambiguous and reproducible. Suitable means ensure that the recipient can be sought (and found) via different routes, or that delegates are informed and activated via automatic forwarding. Messaging can be and is used at all levels and in different corps, both in non-combat areas (planning, support, logistics) and also in fighting troop sections. The levels range from the uppermost command level to platoon, and more recently to the level of the individual. By forwarding attachments, comprehensive images and data can be transmitted to the recipient.
Military Grade Encryption
The Crypto Field Terminal is no ordinary laptop: It is a unit housed safely in a robust case, protected against damp, cold, heat, vibrations or knocks. It is an all-in-one Military Grade Encryption messaging system with integrated application, communication and encryption.
The Crypto Field Terminal is designed to provide local security and secure communication via telephone or radio at tactical and strategic level.
It can be used flexibly everywhere, and autonomously, without great installation expense. This workstation allows a very high level of mobility thanks to the integrated and end-to-end secure-messaging application and the robust communication channels available.
The Crypto Field Terminal is also very well suited for fixed installations on land and on the high seas. Communication is via telephone or HF, VHF or UHF radio because the appropriate modems and the transmission protocols for most applications are available. Moreover, an analogue telephone modem is already built in.