Under the umbrella of the National Security Agency Electronic Key Management System, the Army Key Management System (AKMS) provides tactical units and sustaining bases with an organic-key generation capability and an efficient, secure electronic key distribution means. AKMS consists of three subcomponents: Local Communications Security (COMSEC) Management Software (LCMS), Automated Communications Engineering Software (ACES) and Simple Key Loader (SKL). The system introduces capabilities and processes to transform operations from manual to secure automated distribution of keys and firmware directly to Information Assurance devices.

AKMS expands operations to DoD’s unclassified network to reach a broader DoD customer base as well as to NATO and coalition users to support combatant commanders’ needs. Additionally, the system offers flexibility and agility to support dynamic communities of interest.


AKMS provides a system for distribution of COMSEC, electronic protection and Signal Operating Instructions (SOI) information from the planning level to the point of use in support of current, interim and objective forces at division and brigade levels.


  • Management Client Nodes (MGC): Automate COMSEC management and accounting; electronically generate and distributes keys; reduce hardcopy files use
  • ACES and Joint Automated COMSEC System: Provides crypto network planning; generates SOI data and creates COMSEC key tags; supports emerging requirements
  • Next Generation Load Device : Loads keys into End Cryptographic Units (ECU); small and ruggedized design allows easy key transfers; interface between LCMS and MGC (Key Generation), ACES and ECUs

Program Status


  • Continue to procure and field SKLs for Air Force, Navy, Foreign Military Sales and other government organizations
  • 3QFY12:

  • Key Management Infrastructure Initial
  • Operational Capability
  • FY13:

  • ACES software upgrade version 3.2
  • FY14:

  • SKL upgrade to SKLv3.1
  • ACES software upgrade version 3.3; SKL software upgrade version 9.0

Projected Activities


  • SKL Next Generation Load Device Request for Proposal

Foreign Military Sales



  • CACI (Aberdeen, MD)
  • Booz Allen Hamilton (Aberdeen, MD)
  • Sierra Nevada Corp. (Sparks, NV)