Royal Air Force A400Ms will be equipped with an important security system from Airbus Defence & Space, under a new contract with the UK Ministry of Defence.

Worth £3.3 million ($5 million) for an initial 15-month activity spanning development to delivery, the deal will lead to the provision of a local crypto key management system. This technology “eliminates the need for crypto equipment aboard an airborne platform to be individually re-keyed before every mission,” says Airbus, which adds that the enhancement will “prevent data compromise that could threaten the safety and security of an aircraft’s mission.”

The award could be increased in value through subsequent support and post-design services business, the company says, and the potential exists to also export the UK-developed system to other A400M operators.

An eventual 22 A400M Atlas transports will be delivered to the RAF, with the service now operating the four-engined type from its Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire.

Airbus has previously supplied a similar crypto management system for the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoons, and hopes to later this year secure an order to also provide it for another UK-operated type.