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BID/2510   C3
Wideband voide and data encryptor - this page is a stub

BID/2510 is a family of software-defined secure voice and data modules, developed and built by Ultra Electronics in Greenford (UK). The family of devices was introduced in July 2010 as a series of plug-in replacements for (now) obsolete cryptographic solutions, such as the BID/250/11 (Lamberton) encryption/decryption device [3]. It is also known as the Common Core Crypto (C3).

At the heart of the C3 systems is programmable cryptographic core that is backwards compatible with existing encryption standards, such as the highly secret SAVILLE encryption algorithm [1], developed by GCHQ (UK) and the NSA (USA).

Because C3 is software-defined, it can also be programmed to support future interoperability standards, protocols and algorithms. By building the C3 inside an Application Specific Enclosure (ASE) it can be used as a drop-in replacement for existing crypto modules that have recently become obsolete, such as the BID/250/11.

The image above was taken from the Ultra Electronics C3 brochure [4] and shows the basic C3 at the bottom left. The unit immedately to its right is the BID/2510/16 drop-in replacement for the now obsolete BID/250/11. It can be installed in the Digital Master Unit (DMU) of a UK Clansman VRC-353 radio station. Clansman is now replaced by the new Bowman communications system.

Development of the BID/2510 family started in 2009 or 2010 and the products were redesigned a couple of times in order to meet the requirements of the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD). This led to the development of the improved BID/2510/16 module, which was backwards compatible with legacy equipment. Finally, Ultra Electronics was awarded a GBP 76 million contract by the UK MOD for the delivery of an unknown number of BID/2510/16 modules, the first of which were installed on the HMS St. Albans in 2014. They passed all Naval Weapon Harbour Trials [3].

The image below shows the BID/2510/16 module as it was released in 2013 [5]. This is probably the version that was ordered in December 2014 by the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) in large quantities as a replacement for the obsolete BID/250/11 [3]. The image was taken from the brochure. Unfortunately, we have no higher resolution of it at the moment.

  • C3
    Universal programmable voice and data encryption/decryption module with a small form-factor. It can be built inside a Application Specific Enclosure (ASE) in order to serve as a drop-in replacement for existing (obsolete) cryptographic modules. The C3 is fully IP-enabled and requires the installation of a circular Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) at the front.

  • BID/2510/1
    Early version of the replacement for the BID/250/11, developed in 2010. This version had a slot for a flat plastic Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) from Datakey at its front panel and has since been superceeded by the BID/2510/16 (see below). It is uncertain whether this version was ever taken into production.

  • BID/2510/16
    Drop-in replacement for the BID/250/11 voice and data encryption module that was installed in the DMU of the VRC-353 radio, as part of the UK Clansman radio system. Clansman is currently being replaced by the Bowman integrated communications system.

  • KG-40 AR
    Drop-in replacement for the now obsolete KG-40A that is used by NATO and Coalition Forces. The KG-40AR is approved by CESG and NATO and is also used by the US Department of Defense (US DoD), making it the first ever procurement of a Type 1 cryptographic device by the US DoD from an offshore company. It uses the BID/2200 crypto module.
The first version of the universal C3 module was the BID/2510/1, a candidate replacement for the (now obsolete) BID/250/11 (Lamberton). It is shown in the image below and features a slot for a Crypto Ignition Key (CIK), a one-letter alphanumerical LED display, a mode selector and an U-229 socket for a common key fill device. It is uncertain whether this version was ever produced.

  1. Crypto Museum, The SAVILLE Encryption Algorithm
    Some characteristics of SAVILLE as described by a former cryptographer.
    Interview at Crypto Museum, December 2011.

  2. CESG, BID/2510/16
    Retrieved February 2015.

  3. Ultra Electronics, Press Release about introduction of BID/2510/16
    2 December 2014. Retrieved February 2015.

  4. Ultra Electronics, Information Assured, Cryptographic Solutions
    Brochure. July 2010. Retrieved February 2015.

  5. Ultra Electronics, Information Assured, Cryptographic Solutions
    Brochure. August 2013. Retrieved February 2015.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 28 February 2015. Last changed: Sunday, 25 February 2018 - 14:37 CET.
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