The Defense Ministry of Russia started issuing specially-protected, Russian-made mobile phones to officers with top secret security clearance, reports Russian newspaper Izvestia, referring to representatives of the Ministry.
The Atlas mobile phone, worth 115,000 rubles or $2,029 has access to encrypted lines, equipped with hardware that cryptographically protects voice information and that can urgently erase encryption keys. The phone can access normal GSM networks using sim-cards from Megafon, which is currently the only operator in Russia that has a license for encrypted communications.
The new phone model is being issued in limited quantities, about a hundred phones a year. The assembly is done manually and takes about four months, Izvestia writes.
Earlier in February, it was reported that the Defense Ministry was planning to ban military personnel from using smartphones due to a series of embarrassing leaks about Russian troop deployments. The Ministry has already requested military personnel to stop using social networks.