The US Army has selected Sierra Nevada Corp. and General Dynamics Mission Systems to compete for each order of the $744.2 million hybrid contract for the Next Generation Load Device-Medium (NGLD-M).
The service picked the two companies after releasing a request for proposals in November last year and receiving five bids.
NGLD-M is the Army’s effort to modernize cryptographic key load devices that are essential for joint service network security.
The NGLD-M will enable delivery of the strongest NSA-generated cryptographic keys to tactical, strategic, and enterprise network systems operating from SECRET to the highest levels of security classification. Modern cryptographic algorithms will be transferred by NGLD-M to counter the threat posed by increased proliferation of cyber and electronic warfare threats.
“The NGLD-M replaces the fleet of legacy fill devices including the aging Simple Key Loader, which the Army began procuring fifteen years ago,” said Mike Badger, product manager for the NGLD-M effort.
“The NGLD-M will be an NSA Type 1 certified, ruggedized, battery-powered, hand-held device used to manage and transfer cryptographic key material and mission planning data.”
NGLD-M will allow the network manager to reconfigure cryptographic products, perform over-the-network-keying, conduct remote software downloads, and improve operational environment awareness. It will support all command echelons across the services, other government agencies and foreign military partner organizations.
The hybrid contract awarded to SNC and General Dynamics is for a maximum order of 265,000 units and has an estimated completion date of August 2031.