NSA certifies Viper phone for classified communications
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Jan 06, 2010
The National Security Agency has approved the Sectera Viper Universal Secure Phone by General Dynamics for top secret communications.
Certified for use over Public Switched Telephone Networks, the phone replaces Secure Telephone Units (STU-III), which are no longer in production, or aging Secure Telephone Equipment (STE), STU-III’s successor and current encrypted telephone system for landline communications. The certification allows military and government personnel to make classified and unclassified calls using traditional telephone networks.
The phone, introduced in 2006, is also the only one certified by NSA for wired Voice over IP use and is interoperable with other STE equipment, according to General Dynamics.
General Dynamics is offering a price discount of $200 for each phone ordered to replace a deployed STU-III or STE phone. As of this year, STU-III users will no longer have support or maintenance of their phones, said John Cole, vice president of information assurance for General Dynamics C4 Systems.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.