US military seeks $499m funding for anti-tamper tech

The US Department of Defense has asked for approval for a federal-funded contract – worth $499m over 10 years – to procure anti-tamper technologies to protect critical materials used in its operations.

The aim is to get support from industry to implement anti-tamper technologies that can prevent "adversary countermeasure development, unintended technology transfer, or alteration of a system due to [reverse engineering]" according to the proposal document.

Concerns about shoring up the security of US military systems came to the fore way back in 2001, when a Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at a Chinese air base on Hainan Island in the People's Republic of China after a mid-air collision with a Chinese J-8II jet fighter.

The crew attempted to destroy computers and other hardware, but it is thought that some sensitive material found its way into the hands of the Chinese government.

The proposal is to "provide an agile and flexible contract vehicle to acquire products, technology, intellectual property, and capabilities that, when implemented effectively, deter, prevent, detect, and respond to reverse engineering and exploitation of…US [critical programme information] when the items have left US control and thus are not afforded protection by other means."

The Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contract (ID/IQ) covers products and technologies designed to establish and maintain a secure processing environment, ways to maintain a secure physical boundary around critical components in products, and cryptographic protection methods.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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