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BAE to build DARPA's 'intrinsically secure' mobile net

British industry money still on the cutting edge

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Global military-ware behemoth BAE Systems announced yesterday that it had won a Pentagon contract to develop a new and "intrinsically secure" mobile networking system.

The $8.5m deal was awarded by DARPA as part of its Intrinsically Assurable Mobile Ad hoc Network (IAMANET) programme.

"Cyber security presents a major operational challenge," said BAE's Dr Nils Sandell Jr.

"IAMANET allows us to apply our wealth of security research to this challenge and provide the military with a secure network that will keep critical, tactical intelligence confidential and flowing."

UK readers familiar with BAE Systems may be surprised to hear the firm has a wealth of secure-networking research. However, the DARPA work will not be carried out at one of BAE's remaining UK regional sites. Rather, it will be done in Massachusetts and Virginia by the company formerly known as Alphatech.

BAE bought Alphatech (founded as an MIT spinoff in 1979) three years ago, just as it sold off its Chadderton site in the UK and shut down the rump aircraft-repair operation remaining there - shedding about the same number of British employees as it was acquiring Americans. The Chadderton plant near Manchester had originally been the famous Avro factory where the Lancaster bomber and later the cold-war Vulcan were built.

On the IAMANET project, according to BAE, the former Alphatech team will lead a consortium including "the California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts, Stanford University, the University of Texas and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs". ®

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