How to Connect Radios with Different Types of Encryption – COMSEC


The Problem

When U.S and NATO allies or Coalition partners work together on a combined operation, they need to use radio communications to co-ordinate their efforts. However, each nation (U.S., NATO or Coalition) often utilize different encryption schemes or keys in their radios, creating a communications gap between their systems.

For example, the U.S. radios may use Type I encryption, while the NATO allies may utilize Type II encryption.

The Solution   

The ICRI can bridge the communications gap by connecting encrypted radios with different COMSEC. Therefore, organizations do not need to reveal encryption keys or schemes, in order to communicate across different COMSEC.

How it Works

The following process will describe the sequence of events that occurs when the U.S. soldier calls a NATO ally, using the ICRI to bridge the gap between their communications systems:

1) Each party (U.S. or NATO) connects one of their radios to the ICRI. This connection is made via the radios’ speaker/mic jack. No programming of the ICRI is required.

US and NATO or Coalition partners with different radio encryption with COMSEC

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2) A U.S. soldier, on their encrypted radio, calls the U.S. encrypted radio that is attached to the ICRI. 

3) The audio passes from the U.S. encrypted radio, through the ICRI, to the NATO encrypted radio attached to the ICRI. 

4) The NATO radio re-transmits the audio it received from the U.S. radio, which can then monitored by a NATO ally.

5) Both U.S. and NATO allies maintain separate encryption.

About the ICRI

US and NATO or Coalition partners with different encryption keys COMSEC

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The ICRI is small, portable, lightweight and very easy-to-use. It is capable of operating for greater than 24 hours from 6 single use “AA” alkaline batteries. The ICRI is capable of interconnecting all U.S. military, NATO and Coalition force radios, regardless of frequency, waveform or encryption key/scheme. Versions of the ICRI are highly ruggedized, meeting IP67 (liquid and solid particle ingress) and MIL-STD-810F compliance.


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