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KY-8   NESTOR
Secure voice unit - this page is a stub

KY-8 was a voice encryption unit, that was developed by the US in the early 1960s as part of the NESTOR family of devices. Of this family, the KY-8 was the base station and vehicular unit, whilst the KY-38 was the manpack unit and the KY-28 was airborne. It was one of the first devices that used real digital encryption as opposed to the far less secure voice scramblers. The KY-8 was suitable for wideband radios, mainly operating in the VHF-L (30-88 MHz) and UHF bands (225-400 MHz), such as the VRC-12 series (RT-246, RT-524 and R-422) [1].

In the design of the KY-8 heavy use is made of the so-called FLYBALL modules; small electronic (logic) circuits, developed for the NSA, that acted as building blocks for the device. The KY-8 was rolled out during the Vietnam War in 1965 [2] and several hundred units were lost to the North Vietnamese when the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) fell in 1975 [3]. Further details of NESTOR are currently unknown.

Compatible devices
  • KY-8
    Vehicular Unit
  • KY-28
    Aircraft Unit
  • Manpack Unit
References
  1. Brooke Clarke, AN/KY-38 Secure Voice System
    Retrieved June 2015.

  2. Charles R. Meyer, Division-Level Communications, 1962-1973
    Website Vietnam Studies. Chapter VIII: Security Response. → Homepage
    Washington DC, USA, 1982. Retrieved June 2015.

  3. James Bamford, Body of Secrets
    ISBN 1407009206. 2008. pp. 352-353.
     James Bamford
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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 01 June 2015. Last changed: Saturday, 02 September 2023 - 08:25 CET.
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