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September 14, 2015

Airbus to equip UK’s A400M with cryptographic key management technology

Airbus Defence and Space has secured a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to equip one of the UK's A400M military aircraft with cryptographic key management technology.

By Samseer M

A400M-cockpit

Airbus Defence and Space has secured a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to equip one of the UK’s A400M military aircraft with cryptographic key management technology.

The cryptographic key management solution is aimed at providing the aircraft with the highest protection for encrypted data.

In addition, it blocks data compromise that could threaten the safety and security of an aircraft’s mission.

The new technology abolishes the requirement for crypto equipment aboard an airborne platform to be individually re-keyed before every mission and also offers increased flexibility, as well as allowing prolonged out-of-area operation.

Airbus Defence and Space UK head Colin Paynter said: "This is a significant win for the company as it will see us providing our already world-leading crypto and key management technology to another major military aircraft.

"Crypto and key management secures the communications and other systems of an aircraft and our technology will play a major role in providing the highest protection for encrypted data across key military platforms."

Announced during DSEI 2015 in London, the initial development contract worth £3.3m will allow Airbus to design, develop, manufacture, accredit and deliver the A400M local crypto key management system.

The contract covers an initial 15-month development phase with an option to extend the support, and provide post design services up until 2020.

"It builds on the experience and the excellent customer relationship our programme and engineering teams already have on the Eurofighter Typhoon and will enable the RAF to utilise the A400M more fully."

Paynter added: "It builds on the experience and the excellent customer relationship our programme and engineering teams already have on the Eurofighter Typhoon and will enable the RAF to utilise the A400M more fully.

"The Airbus cyber security UK team is now in discussions with other MOD platform IPTs about building on our joint experience in delivering this sovereign cryptography and key management capability to in-service platforms."

The A400M is a multi-national military transport aircraft designed to serve as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. It is powered by four EuroProp TP400-D6 turboprop engines.

In July, the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) received the third A400M Atlas aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space under a £2.8bn contract for the delivery of 22 A400Ms.


Image: Cockpit of an Airbus-built A400M Atlas is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Defence and Space.

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