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HISPEED
Co-production of KG-81 (WALBURN)

HISPEED was the codename of a NATO evaluation in the mid-1970s, for a high-speed Trunk Encryption Device (TED). Philips Usfa contributed to this project by developing the so-called SATCOLEX crypto device; an 8 Mb/s line encryptor for multiplexed voice and telex signals.
 
Development took from 1975 to 1977, but SATCOLEX was withdrawn right before the actual evaluation, in return for co-production (for the European market) of the winning device: the American WALBURN-based TED: KG-81 [2].

Philips would build the complete 19" racks and the KG-81 units for the entire European market. Several modifications were made especially for NICSMA. They also received further orders for the design of suitable interfaces for the device. Development of the additional units lasted from 1979 to 1982, after which production started.
  
Close-up of a 19'' rack with KG-81 units

The HISPEED project marked the beginning of a long relationship with the American NSA. By the end of 1982, over 95 complete systems had been delivered to NATO. Each system consisted of a number of 19" racks, each with several KG-81 units and peripheral devices. The image above shows a detail of such a 19" rack. Unfortunately, no better quality photographs are available to us at this time. Some more photographs of the WALBURN racks can be found below [1].
 
Perspective view of a WALBURN rack Front view of a WALBURN rack Terminals at the rear of the rack Close-up of a 19'' rack with KG-81 units Two empty KG-81 slots

KG-81 was compatible with the later Philips BVO-T, that was developed for the Dutch ZODIAC tactical communications system. It allowed the EUROCOM-compatible ZODIAC to communicate with NATO data trunks running over KG-81 units.
 
Glossary
Below are some acronyms and abbreviation used on this page. For further acronyms and keywords, please check the global crypto glossary.
 
NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(Wikipedia) (Website)

NICSMA   NATO Integrated Communications Systems Management Agency

NSA   National Security Agency
America's national cryptologic organisation, responsible for US information security. Home of the American codemakers and codebreakers. (More...) (Other) (Wikipedia) (Website)

TED   Trunk Encryption Device

References
  1. Philips Usfa, WALBURN archive photographs
    Crypto Museum Photo Archive #301324.

  2. Philips Usfa, Internal Memo L/5636/AvdP/JG
    23 August 1982, page 5.

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Friday, 14 December 2012 - 16:06 CET.
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