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Juniper and GE Team to Build Secure Network Appliances for the Battlefield

Juniper Networks and GE have teamed up to help the U.S. Military deploy ruggedized networking appliances to their defense vehicles. The equipment is designed to work with aerospace and military environments, including those where harsh conditions make typical products almost useless.

Router for the BattlefieldFor years, the U.S. military has looked to incorporate off-the-shelf technologies into its networking and communications systems, the Juniper / GE team-up will enable “communications on the move” using the same high performance, secure, interoperable technology that functions as the backbone for enterprises across the globe.

The first product from the partnership is the RTR8GE. Engineers at Juniper and GE call it a “battle-ready, rugged, and security-focused network router,” that features the Junos operating system.

The RTR8GE can act as a firewall and IPS/IDS appliance, while enabling secure IPv4/IPv6 connectivity for military vehicles, aircraft, and forward operating bases supporting net-centric operations. It has eight Gigabit Ethernet ports integrated in a SWaP-optimized enclosure designed to deal with the environmental situations that can render other equipment mangled beyond repair.

Moreover, the RTR8GE router supports radio-aware router protocols that monitor network efficiency, available bandwidth, and regulate traffic flow. This enables it to choose the most efficient route in mobile or ad-hoc battlefield network environments. It also includes anti-tamper protection and information-assurance technologies in to protect the data it is designed to transport.

“Net-centricity is not only changing the way warfare is conducted, but how weapons systems and military platforms such as vehicles are designed,” said Al DiLibero, President of Military & Aerospace Embedded Computing at GE Intelligent Platforms in a statement.

“Initiatives such as the U.S. Army's 'VICTORY' Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/electronic warfare interoperability specification are indicative of a trend that pushes networks to the battlefield edge, driving the need for mobile, secure network devices. Our relationship with Juniper Networks allows us to take advantage of the Junos operating system and Juniper Networks' secure networking technologies in the development of purpose-built, rugged battlefield networking solutions.”

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.