Defense contractors have been depending on the export market in order to weather the current economic crisis. It turns out their hopes have considerable justification. According to a September 9, 2009 NY Times article,
“The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.”
By contrast, through the early 2000s, arms sales averaged only $8-13B. According to Loren Thomsen of the Lexington Institute, “weapons could be the single biggest export item over the next ten years.”
However, at a time when defense contractors are highly motivated to increase export, the regulatory climate is becoming tougher. For example, a recent report by the GAO on export controls found that “…current government programs for protecting critical technologies may be ill-equipped to overcome challenges in the current security environment….globalization and terrorist threats have heightened the challenges…”
Following the July 16, 2008 reissue of DoD Instruction 5200.39 requiring anti-tamper protection for critical program information in new systems, the services have been moving ahead with implementation.
Of course, anti-tamper concerns extend to domestic deployments as well as export. But anti-tamper guidelines are particularly strict for export. Consequently, a key value proposition for a secure processor such as CPU Tech’s Acalis CPU872 in weapon systems is straightforward: to improve tamper resistance, detection and response for FMS.
Weapons systems include a mix of proprietary components and merchant market components. The proprietary components may include anti-tamper protection but until recently merchant market processors have not. Sensitive subsystems with merchant market components are protected by conventional anti-tamper technology: volumetric enclosure with sensors to detect breaches and trigger destruction of critical program information. Assuming Acalis can meet the performance and SWaP envelope allocated, the design-in should be straightforward. Leave the proprietary components and conventional AT in place (for now): simply use Acalis to further improve tamper resistance, detection and response.
The stage is set for Acalis Secure Processors to enable continued and increased FMS.