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BID/250 (Lamberton)
Wideband secure voice encryption - wanted item

BID/250 was a wide-band voice encryption/decryption module that was used in combination with the Digital Master Unit (DMU) of a UK Clansman VRC353 radio. It was developed in the late 1960s or the early 1970s and implemented the highly secret SAVILLE encryption alogorithm, developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) [1]. BID-250 is also known as Lamberton and by its stock number NSN 5810-999-645-0301. The last BID/250 units were phased-out in 2011 [2].
 
The DMU allowed digitized speech and data to be sent at 16 Kb/s over wide-band VHF and UHF links. Secure conversations were only possible if the BID/250 crypto module was present inside the DMU. The crypto module replaced the blue cover plate at the center of the DMU front panel.

Cryptographic keys were loaded into the BID/250 by means of a standard key-fill device, such as the KYK-13 and the KOI-18. Due to the fact that the BID/250 used the SAVILLE algorithm, it was crypto compatible with the American KY-57 (and the later KY-99).
  

The units had an extremely long life span. Although BID/250 was introduced in the early 1970s, some versions of it were still in use in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, all BID/250 units were gradually phased-out when Clansman was replaced by the new Bowman communications system.
 
Wanted item
At present Cryptom Museum has no BID/250 Lamberton unit in its collection, which is why we are currently unable to show an image of it. We would very much like to receive a complete unit and/or any kind of information about it. If you think you can help, please contact us.
 
References
  1. Crypto Museum, The SAVILLE Encryption Algorithm
    Some characteristics of SAVILLE as described by a former cryptographer.
    Interview at Crypto Museum, December 2011.

  2. DIN Digest for March 2009, Declaration of Obsolescence of BID/250/41 and 42
    2009DIN04-028.

Further information

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