Defense Department begins IPv6 interoperability tests

Thursday, 23 October 2003, 11:46 AM EST

For the next six months, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will operate the largest multivendor IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) network to date.

Today, the North American IPv6 Task Force announced that the network, dubbed the Moonv6 project, has been deployed to evaluate next-generation Internet technology to support network-centric military operations.

The DOD has said it will migrate its existing Global Information Grid Network, based at University of New Hampshire, to the new IPv6 network by 2008.

"Future combat and defense systems need network ubiquity, mobility and security that the current Internet protocol, IPv4, cannot provide," said Maj. Roswell Dixon, Joint Interoperability Testing Command tactical data systems/IPv6 test director at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in a statement. "The lack of security and flexibility in the current protocol has hampered efforts to build next-generation secure communications."

In a telebriefing on Oct. 17, Dixon said the IPv6 project was groundbreaking for the Defense Department. "This is the first time we've had representation from all the services" in a test of the new protocol, he said.

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