NAVAIR wants to build cyber resiliency into weapons systems
- By Mark Pomerleau
- May 24, 2016
Recognizing the complexity of securing its weapons systems, the Naval Air Systems Command issued a broad agency announcement for research and development to support in technologies to make its systems more resilient to cyber warfare in an environment of connectivity.
Vulnerabilities are created not just from intermittent connections -- such as those from maintenance laptops or aircraft launch and recovery equipment – but can also reach back to concept development and as far forward as equipment sanitization and disposal. And because weapons systems are so different from commercial IT systems, NAVAIR wants R&D proposals, not traditional information assurance solutions that “are not only not implementable as is, but may also decrease security and system performance by offering greater adversary access.”
In total, the notice lists 34 research areas of interest that range from malware response to remote sensor access and operation to artificial neural networks and the convergence of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.
Because military operations rely on GPS for precision, navigation and timing, “we are incredibly susceptible – everyone is – to manipulation of the electromagnetic spectrum,” Rear Adm. Mark Darrah said May 17 at the annual Sea Air Space exposition. “Cyber and cybersecurity and our operations within the current spectrum are at risk continually. We’ve got to find a way to move beyond that.”
Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.