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3/28/2006
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NSA Awards Harris $41.6 Million For Secure WLAN

The cryptographic networking gear is expected to be deployed in several DOD-related programs, Harris said.

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Harris Corp. said Tuesday (March 28) it has won a five-year, $41.6 million contract from the National Security Agency to supply its SecNet 54 secure wireless local-area network (SWLAN) to the federal government and approved customers.

Designed to be crypto-modernization-compliant, SecNet 54 can be used in secure communications applications up to Top Secret/SCI Level Data. It can operate with a High Assurance Internet Protocol Interoperability Specification-compliant Inline Network Encryptor using a pre-placed, symmetric key.

"This is a very important contract for Harris and the first order for SecNet 54, a first-of-its-kind cryptographic communications device," Dan Pearson, president of DoD Programs business unit of Harris Government Communications Systems Division (Melbourne, Fla.), said in a statement. "It fills the near-term needs of DOD, federal and international customers and is an enabling technology for several large programs," including the U.S. Army's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical program as well as the Air Force's Combat Information Transportation Systems.

SecNet 54, in its 802.11 a/b/g configuration, is a SWLAN (Type 1 encryption) network for data-, video- and voice-over-IP applications. Using standard, IEEE 802.11 wireless protocols, its data transmission rate is 54 Mbits/second. It also features low-packet latency in multimedia applications.

Harris said the network operates at line-of-sight ranges of up to 100 meters indoors and up to 600 meters outdoors. Further extended ranges are possible with external antennas and power amplifiers, or both.

SecNet 54's dual-module architecture supports numerous transmission media. In its first release, SecNet 54 consists of an 802.11a/b/g radio module attached to a cryptographic module, enabling it to function as a SWLAN device.

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