São José dos Campos, May 14th, 2020. COMAER’s (Brazil’s Air Force Command) number one priority for technological development, Phase 2 of the IFF Sovereign Program entered into contractual execution on April 28th, 2020, when KRYPTUS received the Order of Services issued by the Casimiro Montenegro Filho Foundation.
The Program, which is expected to execute in 24 months, will result in all necessary components (both terrestrial and airworthy) for Brazil having its sovereign Identification Friend or Foe system. The products will be used in the F-X2 Program, responsible for the development and acquisition of 36 F-39 Gripen E/F fighters for FAB (Brazilian Air Force).
Use of the IFF system
In recent decades, the advancements of weapons systems, mainly around missiles, have changed the paradigm of identifying platforms (aircraft, ships, combat cars) from visual and signature-based, to an active approach, based on cryptography. This evolution was necessary to automate the resolution of targets, avoiding friendly fire. At the same time, it was essential to leverage the advances such as BVR – Beyond Visual Range weapon systems.
“In conflicts, it is essential that countries have full knowledge and control over the IFF cryptographic subsystem they use. The subversion of this critical component allows, for example, enemy aircraft to be identified as friends in an airstrike, penetrating deep into the Defense lines,” says Dr. Roberto Gallo, managing director of KRYPTUS, a strategic defense company.
Currently, few countries have their IFF technology, including certain members of NATO, China, Russia, and South Africa. “In particular, in NATO, the entity responsible for generating cryptographic keys in operations is the NSA, given the criticality of the application. In other countries such as Brazil, under law, the encryption employed must be either national or full white box and the keys and algorithms managed by the local authority”, adds Gallo.
Major Aviator Guilherme Moreira, Project Manager at IAE (Institute of Aeronautics and Space), comments that “this project aimed to meet a genuine demand of COMAER and launched the IAE on an important journey towards the development of Brazil’s first IFF avionics with 100% national technology. We count on Kryptus as a partner and intend to deliver state of the art in terms of secure target classification for employment in the Armed Forces. It is an indispensable step towards harmonious interoperability between the Forces.”
Thierry Martin, Kryptus’ managing partner to EMEA complements: “We bring to the region deep knowledge on airborne and terrestrial encryption technologies, and we are fully committed to end-to-end technology transfer, including co-development projects. Regarding the legal framework, Brazil and Switzerland do not have ‘backdoors’ laws such as UK’s RIP, US’s PATRIOT Act, China’s Encryption Law, or Russia’s Federal Law No. 149-FZ.”
KRYPTUS EMEA SA. is the Swiss branch of KRYPTUS Information Security SA., a Brazilian strategic defense company founded in 2003 in Campinas, São Paulo. It is the Brazilian leader in cybernetics and cryptography for military and state applications and is present in many strategic programs of the Brazilian Armed Forces. Its systems and solutions are used in dozens of countries around the world. In addition to its headquarters in Brazil, the company has an office for the EMEA region in Yverdon-Les-Bains, Vaud, Switzerland.
The Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE) is a Military Organization of the Air Force Command, created on October 17th, 1969, subordinated to the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA). It is up to the IAE to develop rockets and launchers, such as the Brazilian Satellite Launcher Vehicle (VLS).