Defense secured communication is defined as the measures taken to prevent any unauthorized access of any information derived from telecommunications traffic or textual information that is transmitted via military communications networks.
The defense secure communication includes emission security, cryptographic security, physical security, and transmission security. Cryptographic security aids in the encryption of data, making it unreadable until it is decrypted. To prevent unwanted interception of information, emission security prohibits the release or capture of device emanations. Physical security safeguards the safety of a network’s cryptographic information, documents, and equipment while also preventing illegal access. Transmission security prevents concerns by protecting the network when data is physically transported.
The defense sector has two fundamental requirements, one is to protect highly confidential information and the establishment of constant communication. If sensitive data is not properly protected or real-time data is not reliably transferred, citizens’ safety may be jeopardized, and conflicts may ensue among nations. As a result, massive military investments are being used to acquire advanced defense and secure communication technologies that allow accurate, discreet, and secure data transfer in real-time.
Some Major Developments to Secure Defense Communication
WiFi, 5G, and 4G technologies utilize radio frequencies to transfer data. This produces radio frequency emissions that are easily detectable and interceptable. This can cause jamming, resulting in poor speeds and unreliable connections. Hence, lifi can be used which uses light in wireless communications instead of radio frequencies which makes the communication more reliable, secure, and simpler to deploy. For instance, in 2021, the U.S. Army had invested USD 4.2 million in large-scale LiFi deployment. The US Army has awarded pureLiFi this contract to create a secure wireless communications system based on Lifi’s technology.
For secure military communications, the US Space Force had launched an Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellite (AEHF-6) into orbit in March 2020. By launching the satellite, the country has deployed its first National Security Mission. This AEHF-6 is built by Lock Heed Martin to deliver secure worldwide communications. This will strengthen the United States’s tactical operations warfare skills across the land, maritime, and aerial platforms.
In July 2020, Wickr, Inc., the secure collaboration platform company had received a contract worth USD 35 million from the United States Air Force for providing secure communication services across major Department of Defense Agencies. The company provides alert, recall, and messaging among other secure communication services across major Department of Defense (DoD) agencies throughout the United States. Henceforth, certain deployments and developments of defense secure communication in the United States will trigger market growth over the forecast era.
In 2021, The Dutch Ministry of Defense had entered into a definitive agreement with the communication security provider, Sectra for secure communications. The new framework agreement includes latest version of Sectra’s Sectra Tiger/S, 7401 LTE. The solution permits the Dutch Ministry of Defense users to transmit confidential information safely and securely from anywhere and at any time.
Continuous animosities among various nations and the growing border tensions amidst Asian countries are two of the key factors which are expected to accelerate the growth within this market. Indo-China border tensions are expected to boost the defense budget for both the upcoming nations. For instance, the Indian Army received a proposal of USD 104.6 crore for securing a better communication network in operational scenarios.
In October 2020, the Indian Army has revealed that it is developed and launched its own encrypted messaging application. Secure Application for Internet (SAI) is the smartphone messaging and communication service that will be used for its internal communications. This smartphone app, which is currently available for Android smartphones, uses end to end encryption to safeguard all communications, including texts, voice, and video chats. The SAI app has a modular code foundation that can be adapted to the unique needs of India’s armed forces, according to the Ministry of Defence, and all data would be routed across local, and in-house data servers.
In terms of players, Lockheed Martin, Thales Group, and Northrop Grumman among others are the major market participants. The market players are also advancing their capabilities by taking strategic decisions to gain a competitive advantage. For instance, in November 2021, Lockheed Martin, a multinational security and aerospace solutions provider, has announced a partnership with Keysight Tecthnologies Inc., a 5G solution provider, to promote 5G for critical mission communications across aerospace and defense applications. Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL vision of secure and resilient connectivity for defense and national security applications is being advanced through this collaboration. It also attempts to adapt commercial 5G technology to address tactical communications needs in the Department of Defense’s terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks. As per the company, this feature could be particularly valuable in the Indo-Pacific region as military aircraft frequently have to fly long distances. Moreover, the region is anticipated to become more contentious as China increases its military capabilities.
The battlefield of today is changing at a faster rate than ever before. Armed forces, munitions are all networked and have turned the front line into a digital arsenal. Increased digitalization brings both benefits and risks. As no risk cannot be afforded, the defense and military sector is increasingly investing in securing their communication networks.