Army Seeking Industry Input on Future Vehicle Cyber Intrusion Defense Systems

Army officials are looking for input on commercial solutions needed to improve intrusion defense systems on military ground vehicles to protect against cyber attacks.

The Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) posted a  request for information (RFI) Thursday on FedBizOpps, and is looking for solutions ranging from simple, individual components that could be used on existing vehicle’s bus networks to details on new, complex systems of components.0_TARDECLOGO051509LargeOnDARK

“Military vehicle bus networks may be vulnerable to malicious or enemy cyber threats. Some military vehicles use well established, publicly known architectures and commercial products, leaving them potentially vulnerable to hacking,” TARDEC said.

TARDEC doesn’t currently utilize private sector engineering support services, but will use information collected with the RFI to assist in developing future vehicle intrusion defense technologies.

Army officials clarified that capabilities surveyed with the RFI may end up as part of a future solicitation with a third party contractor.

“If you do not wish to disclose your technology with a 3rd party and limit the distribution for Government use only, it will inhibit the utility of your submission for our immediate needs. However, we will accept such submissions to further our awareness of all such technologies and for potential consideration to support internal efforts that may not involve a 3rd party,” TARDEC said.

Commercial intrusion defense system capabilities considered under the RFI must be applicable to military vehicle bus networks, including CAN, 1553, MILCAN, 1939, 1587, Utility Bus, RS232/422/485, 1708, USB, TC/IP.

Intrusion defense system technologies must also be small and light and not interfere with the performance of existing bus components, according to the RFI’s technical requirements.  

TARDEC officials are seeking information on capabilities that are at a Technology Readiness Level 4 by April 30 to considered for the most immediate plans. However, commercial partners who are unable to meet this timeframe are still encouraged to send their input for consideration in future efforts.

“This could apply to technologies that are not currently at a high readiness but do have a development plan currently in place to achieve a ‘more ready’ state in the near future,” TARDEC said.

Interested commercial partners must also consider their ability to produce their capability to meet the average Army vehicle production schedule of about 200 to 2,000 vehicles per year, according to TARDEC.

“While low acquisition cost is certainly a desired trait for any technology and will be considered, it is not a limiting factor as high performance can be an acceptable trade-off for high cost,” officials wrote in the RFI. “It is important that each technology should document its performance to the fullest extent possible, and if possible the technology should be compared to a baseline or other performance target.”

Responses to the RFI are due by April 24.

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