The US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has awarded a contract to ViaSat for designing and developing advanced information security into commercial mobile devices, which will help marines securely access military enterprise networks.
The $2.4m deal also has options for performing additional engineering and design activities.
During first phase of the contract, ViaSat will produce and supply some 150 mobile proof-of-concept devices for testing and integration that will be carried out by the US Department of Defense (DoD).
The company will integrate cyber and information security to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) smartphones and tablets to enable users to securely communicate over 3G/4G/LTE cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Troops can also use the new smartphone and security software to store sensitive data, as well as safeguard devices against malware attacks.
ViaSat Secure Network Systems executive director Jon Korecki said that the military personnel expected to bring their mobile devices capabilities along with them even while on missions.
"We have a number of ongoing developments to deliver a secure mobile enterprise system that can work those devices seamlessly into a variety of carrier networks," Korecki added.
With enhanced capability offered against traditional handheld radios, the security software-equipped mobile device will transform soldiers' equipment into a sensor that not only shares critical mission information at a faster speed but also help in contributing to multiply force effectiveness.
Development of the new secure mobile system is likely to be complete by spring 2013, with the new technology then made available on any Android device.