Inter-Elektronik AG (IE) was a short-lived manufacturer of
based in Zug (Switzerland). IE was founded by Willy Reichert
around 1983, after leaving his former company
Mils Elektronik in Austria.
In 1994, the statutory seat of the company was moved to Lichtenstein,
whilst the actual sales office was relocated to Innsbruck (Austria).
At the same time, most developers left the company.
A few years later, in 1996, the company was finally dissolved.
A few months later, Reichert died.
➤ Inter-Elektronik cipher machines
The active history of Inter-Elektronik (IE) starts with Willy Reichert who,
shortly after WWII, started a company in cryptographic equipment in Trier (Germany).
The company was called Reichert Elektronik and was
founded in 1946 or 1947. Reichert made his first fortune by rebuilding
the Siemens T-52 Geheimschreiber
cipher machines that had been scrapped after the war had ended.
Once the supply of T-52 machines had dried up, Reichert acquired a patent
for a (random) noise generator and introduced a complete system for the
production of One-Time-Tapes (OTT).
Such punched paper tapes were used in combination with
the so-called mixer machines,
and provided unbreakable security.
After several successful years, Reichert tried his luck on nuclear radiation
meters (the Atomat)
and remote control devices for model airplaines
but eventually lost substantial capital and had to return to the
development and production of cipher machines.
In the years following WWII, Reichert was able to supply equipment to most
Western European countries, such as Germany and Belgium, but in the early
1960s, he started loosing business to other crypto-manufactuers.
As the German government didn't want him to sell his machines to
non-European (i.e. non-NATO) countries,
he decided to move the company to (neutral) Austria.
The new company was called Mils Elektronik and was founded
in Austria around 1965. Most of the existing products of Reicherts former company
were renamed and the product range was vastly expanded. From that moment on,
Mils Elektronik was able to supply any country in the world, including
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, where Reichert had good contacts.
The new company logo was based on the original Reichert one, symbolising three
In the late 1970s, Reichert felt it was time to find a successor who would
take over the company and follow in his footsteps. After his senior developer
Eberhart Scholz had declined, he turned his attention to Torsten Hartmann,
an electronics engineer from Germany. Hartmann, who had good contactual skills,
accepted and was soon announced as the future company director.
Approximately one year after Hartmann had joined Mils Elektronik, a serious
conflict between him and Reichert caused permanent damage to the relationship
between the two. Reichert, probably out of wounded pride, the decided to sell
his shares in the company and start all over again.
He left his beloved Tirol (Austria) and settled down in Zug (Switzerland)
where he started a new company by the name of Inter-Elektronik (IE).
The company was actually established in 1962,
but had been 'sleeping' for several years. Although Reichert
was the driving force behind IE, the actual owner was Helmut F. Groner,
a Swiss business man from Schaffhausen. The company became active around June
1983 and advertized its products in the following years .
When leaving Mils Elektronik, Reichert had taken copies of all secret designs
and circuit diagrams, and also took some of the Mils staff. After developing a
number of cipher machines (some of which strongly resembled existing
Mils Elektronik products)
he started addressing the existing Mils customer base.
He even copied the company logo (see above),
and advertized it side-by-side with the
original Reichert Elektronik logo, making it very confusing for the customers
Although some customers initially followed Reichert to his new company
Inter-Elektronik, many of them eventually returned to the far more stable
Mils Elektronik in Austria.
As a result, Reichert saw his turnover gradually declining.
Furthermore, his health began playing up and eventually Reichert saw
himself forced to return to Austria,
where he bought an appartment in Innsbruck.
In 1994, the statutory address of Inter-Elektronik was moved to Vaduz (Lichtenstein),
whilst Reichert operated the sales office from Innsbruck (Austria).
The Inter-Elektronik product portfolio
last appeared in the Jane's catalogue of 1997 , but by that
time the company had already been dissolved (16 February 1996).
After a short illness, Reichert died on 4 July 1996.
Reichert's former company, now called Mils Electronic,
survived all storms and is still in business today.
➤ More about Mils Elektronik
- DCE-8045, digital cipher unit
- CCD-8045, Computer Cipher Device
- DCE-8000 C, digital telex and data cipher equipment
- DCE-8035, online/offline cipher equipment
- DOS-8025, personal computer cipher system
- DVS-3000 X, digital voice scrambler (module)
- DVX-3000 XP, digital voice scrambler (hand-held)
- DVC-3100 Y, Digital Voice Cipher Unit (hand held)
- DVS-3600, full-duplex telephone scrambler
- FCU-8045, Facimile cipher unit
- PCE-8025, portable cipher terminal
- RKG-8500, Key Generator
- VSM-5400, voice scrambler
- Vodacoder 2400, digital voice cipher terminal
- Inter Elektronik AG
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