Military Embedded Systems

Encrypted combat training system completes flight demonstration


October 29, 2015

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

SAN DIEGO. Draken International and Cubic completed an airborne encryption fight test demonstration of the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) on a tactical fighter aircraft, matching the environment of an air combat training mission using the Cubic Miniature Encryptor (CME) in Lakeland, Florida.

Key components of the system include GPS-enabled, aircraft-mounted airborne instrumentation “pods” plus ground stations, which help aircrew conduct, monitor, and control air combat training and post-flight debriefing. Engineers designed the P5CTS to provide real-time and post-mission training for air-to-air, air-to-ground, and surface-to-air combat missions by displaying the live-air picture, recording mission data, and relaying Time, Space and Positioning Information (TSPI) between participating aircraft during training sorties.

During the flight test, two Draken fighter aircraft carrying the encrypted P5 pods and a P5CTS live monitor ground station were upgraded with the CME, allowing engineers to track the flight. The TSPI data and uplink manual kill notification were passed across the P5CTS encrypted data link.

Engineers were also able to verify backwards interoperability of the CME through an unmodified P5CTS live monitor ground station and an unencrypted pod on a third aircraft. This part of the exercise showed that the encrypted system was able to see and relay the unencrypted data from the P5 pod, while the unencrypted system could relay, but not ‘see’ the encrypted P5 pods.


Read more on encryption:

Encrypting storage in small form factors

Taking on encryption's usability and key management problems

Dispelling data breach myths


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