32 Romanian F-16s will receive TTP ‘Friend and Foe’ integration

32 second-hand Romanian fighter jets purchased from Norway will receive third party integration [TTP] of cryptographic devices. The State Department has approved the sale of KY-58M and KIV-78 cryptographic devices, which will cost $105 million.

32 Romanian F-16s will receive TTP 'Friend and Foe' integration
Photo credit: RNAF

The fighters are still in Norway. The contract was finalized this year, and according to European sources, Norway will deliver 32 combat aircraft to Romania in 2023-2024. The executor of the contract will be the American company Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas.

This update is traditional for older version aircraft known as the F-16 Mid-Life Update Block 10/15 stage. Romania currently operates 14 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, F-16AM version. The Romanian Air Force has an additional three F-16BM aircraft that it uses to train its fighter pilots. In reality, this is the combat air fleet of Romanian aviation fighters. With the arrival of 32 F-16s from Norway, Bucharest will undoubtedly improve its air defense capabilities.

How does KIV-78 ensure secure communication?

The KIV-78 cryptographic device [Friend and Foe] ensures secure communication by using advanced encryption algorithms to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. It is designed to provide secure voice and data communication for military and government agencies.

The device uses a key management system to generate and distribute encryption keys, which are used to encrypt and decrypt messages. The keys are stored securely within the device and can only be accessed by authorized personnel.

The KIV-78 also incorporates a number of security features to prevent tampering and unauthorized access. For example, it has a tamper-resistant design that makes it difficult to physically access the internal components of the device. It also includes a self-destruct mechanism that can be activated remotely if the device is lost or stolen.

In addition to these security features, the KIV-78 is also designed to be interoperable with other cryptographic devices, allowing for secure communication between different agencies and organizations. Overall, the KIV-78 is a highly secure and reliable cryptographic device that is essential for protecting sensitive information in military and government settings.

KIV-78 components and architecture

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The device consists of several components, including a key generator, a key loader, a crypto engine, and a user interface. The key generator is responsible for generating and storing cryptographic keys, while the key loader is used to load these keys onto the device. The crypto engine is the heart of the device, responsible for encrypting and decrypting data, and the user interface allows the user to interact with the device and manage cryptographic keys.

The architecture of the KIV-78 is based on the Advanced Encryption Standard [AES] algorithm, which is widely used by the US government and other organizations for secure communication. The device uses a 256-bit key length, which provides a high level of security against brute-force attacks.

The device includes a self-test function that allows the user to verify that the device is functioning correctly, and it also includes a tamper-evident seal to prevent unauthorized access.

Same function, different generations

Realistically, there is almost no difference between the two cryptographic devices that will be integrated into the Romanian F-16s. The difference is only due to a difference in the generations of the two devices.

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KY-58M is the older version of modern cryptographic devices. Compared to the KIV-78, the KY-58M is not as secure in cryptography. It uses simpler encryption algorithms and security protocols, which can make it more vulnerable to attack and exploitation. This means it may not be suitable for highly sensitive applications that require the highest levels of security.

It is the simpler function of the KY-58M that is one of its advantages over the KIV-78. I.e. The KIV-78 requires more training and experience to operate and maintain, which can increase costs and reduce usability.

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