Agence France-Presse, THE US Defence Department will adopt the new internet protocol – called IPv6 – as the standard for all its networked information systems by around 2008, a senior defence official announced.
Assistant secretary of defence for networks and information integration John Stenbit said the new version of the internet would offer better network security and improved quality of transmission.
The Pentagon had decided to commit now to IPv6 so that the standard would be incorporated in the design of new weapons and communications systems, he said.
The internet currently operates under IPv4, but the new protocol has gained enough commercial acceptance that new software is now being designed to be compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6, Mr Stendbit said.
“Our doing this successfully will accelerate, I believe, this particular process a little bit,” he said.
The Pentagon plans to make the transition in phases with significant parts of the Defence Department networks moving to IPv6 on an experimental basis beginning in 2005.
Mr Stenbit noted that systems like the army's Future Combat System, which uses information networks to link together manned and unmanned combat vehicles, and new laser communications technology are scheduled to come on line soon after 2008.
Their developers need to be certain about what kind of internet protocol was going to be “the heart and soul of the DoD (Department of Defence) network, he said.