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ViaSat UK wins £3.8m contract for military vehicle encryption

ViaSat UK is to provide an encryption system for British Army armoured vehicles to ensure sensitive mission and intelligence stored on and gathered by Scout SVs will never be put at risk

Communications firm ViaSat UK has won a £3.8m contract from General Dynamics UK to equip 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles (SVs) with an on-board encrypted data storage system.

General Dynamics developed the Scout family of armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army. There are six variants of the vehicle for various types of reconnaissance, as well as command and control, repair, and recovery.

ViaSat will help equip vehicles in a seven-year contract set to start in 2017 by providing a system that will ensure sensitive mission data and intelligence stored on and gathered by Scout SVs will never be put at risk.

ViaSat UK designs, develops and produces cyber security and information assurance solutions for government and corporate applications worldwide.

“This contract reflects ViaSat’s capabilities in providing state-of-the-art, government-accredited encryption technology,” said ViaSat UK chief executive Chris McIntosh.

“Our experience providing secure systems for the likes of the Lynx Wildcat helicopter and Watchkeeper Remotely Piloted Air System has stood us in good stead for ensuring that sensitive information remains safe.

“With this expertise, we can provide peace of mind for both vehicle crews and commanders in the increasingly data-driven, 21st century battlefield,” he said.

ViaSat’s bespoke on-board encrypted data storage system is based on its CESG Assisted Products Service-accredited data encryption, which the firm claims is the only hardware-based encryption technology that is certified to protect top-secret data at rest by CESG, the UK’s information assurance authority.  

According to McIntosh, the secure data storage system provides modular technology that can be upgraded as needed to ensure that Scout SV has up-to-date capabilities across its lifespan.

“By taking this approach, we can help ensure that any future Scout SV variants, as well as other vehicle programs, have the information assurance security they need while also reducing investment risks for UK military procurement,” he said.

The Scout SV is designed to provide best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility, and all-weather intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. 

Each Scout SV variant is designed to be a highly agile, tracked, medium-weight armoured fighting vehicle. Introduction of the medium-weight vehicles is a key part of the British Army’s transformation plan, known as Army 2020.

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