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Siemens T-1285CA
Online/offline teletype encryptor - wanted item

The T-1285CA was an electronic device for the online/offline encryption and decryption of text-based messages. It was based on a T1285 teleprinter unit developed by Siemens AG in Germany, with the optional built-in cryptographic heart developed by Philips Crypto BV in The Netherlands.

The machine was developed as the successor to the T-1000CA Aroflex, a machine based on the Siemens T-1000 teleprinter with a crypto unit, developed by Philips, mounted at the bottom.

The new T-1285CA was intended as a plug-in replacement for the Aroflex and was developed in close collaboration with Philips Crypto BV.

A complete setup consists of a main unit, a monitor, a printer and an (optional) paper-tape reader/puncher. All units meet NATO TEMPEST requirements [1]. It is also known as the Philips PDLX-6141, but is generally called Aroflex II [2].
Click for more information. Photograph taken from the brochure [1].

Development of the T-1285CA took many years and costed millions of Dollars. Introduction of the machine was delayed several times and by the time it was introduced, in the mid-1990s, teletype machines were rapidly being replaced by computers. As a result, only a limited number of machines were produced and sold, before Philips and Siemens decided to end the project.

 For a detailed description of the T-1285CA, please refer to the Philips Aroflex II-page.

The basic T-1285 teleprinter unit was also adopted by Crypto AG (Hagelin) in Switzerland as the body for their HC-5700 and HC-5750 cipher machines [3]. Although the Hagelin-version looks similar, it has a different crypto heart and is not compatible with the NATO approved T-1285CA. The HC-5700 remained in production long after Siemens had discontinued the T-1285CA [3].

  1. Siemens, TEMPEST Crypto Communications System T1285CA
    Full-colour 6-page brochure of the T-1285CA.

  2. Philips Crypto BV, Crypto Communications System AROFLEX II
    Full-colour 6-page brochure of the PDLX-6141 Aroflex II. NATO Restricted. 1993.

  3. Jane's Military Communications, Eighteenth Edition, 1997-98
    ISBN 0-1706-1530-2.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 17 August 2011. Last changed: Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 20:44 CET.
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