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October 14, 2003
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General Dynamics Decision Systems High Assurance Solutions

General Dynamics Decision Systems’ products and technology have been protecting sensitive military and government information for more than 40 years. Four decades of innovations have resulted in the TalkSECURE™ Wireless phone, part of the Sectera family of products from General Dynamics Decision Systems, offering compact, easy to use, secure communications for government, industrial and international users. This new phone demonstrates the commitment General Dynamics Decision Systems has to providing the highest levels of information assurance for the people who need it the most.

General Dynamics Decision Systems’ leadership in information assurance and security-enabled telecommunications systems began with the STU-III (Secure Telephone Unit) in the 1980s. The STU-III phone was a hardware-enabled security solution for voice and data communications that offered a number of “firsts.” In addition to its small desk-set size and a price one-fourth that of the predecessor STU-II, the STU-III was the first secure phone to offer a choice in security levels for voice and data communications. From 1987 to 1999, General Dynamics placed more than 240,000 STU-III phones in offices and conference rooms from the White House, to the Pentagon to defense contractors around the world.

By the mid-1990s, four distinct levels of security had been defined for specific user communities. The highest level of security, Type 1, was required by the U.S. Government for protection of classified information up to the Top Secret level. Type 2 security was intended for U.S. Government sensitive but unclassified information. Type 3 security was targeted for all other U.S. domestic security needs, and Type 4 defined the class of exportable secure products for International customers. These four user groups were able to communicate securely within their specific community, but were not able to communicate securely with other user groups. For example, a Type 1 user was not able to have a secure conversation with a Type 3 or 4 user because secure products did not interoperate.

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As business and geo-political conditions changed, the U.S. Government identified a growing need for different security levels to inter-communicate. By collaborating with industry and international partners, the Future Narrow Band Digital Terminal (FNBDT) standard was developed to provide a signaling scheme that allows users to communicate securely with other compatible products.

As wireless data and voice communications surged in popularity and preference, General Dynamics Decision Systems raised the information security bar in 2000, introducing the Sectera interoperable security architecture for high-assurance telecommunications and network security. This revolutionized information assurance from a hardware to a software-enabled solution. These software-based products provide reusable, software-programmable and upgradeable flexibility that was not previously available. Sectera products use the FNBDT signaling scheme, providing interoperable secure communications.

Earlier this year, General Dynamics Decision Systems introduced the Sectera Secure Wireless Type 1 phone and the Sectera Wireline Terminal, a compact, lightweight, portable device that provides end-to-end security and connects to a standard analog desktop phone or personal computer. Both the Sectera Type 1 Wireless Phone and Type 1 Wireline Terminal have been certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) to protect classified information up to the Top Secret level. With the introduction of the TalkSECURE Wireless phone for commercial and international users, secure communications between groups exchanging classified and unclassified information can now take place both domestically and internationally.

Today, global events have created an immediate and unparalleled demand for secure, interoperable voice and data communications. The TalkSECURE Wireless phone is the first to use a proprietary, secure module that “clips-in” to an existing, commercially available phone, the Motorola Timeport™ tri-band GSM phone. Secure calls are as easy to make as regular cell phone calls, and global communications capability is achieved with the Timeport phone that operates on the world’s dominant cellular technology, GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

General Dynamics Decision Systems understands and utilizes the power of leveraging commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) products and technologies with technology innovation for a faster cycle-time into global markets. This strategy has proven to be a decisive advantage, allowing customers to respond to commercial and political events more efficiently and conveniently.



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