BAE Systems has signed a strategic business agreement with Intel to develop next-generation defence applications based on Intel’s most advanced technology.

The agreement will enable BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development (R&D) organisation to receive early access to select Intel technologies.

According to BAE, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) semiconductor technology has been highly diffused into US defence applications.

This military-grade technology needs custom capabilities that are domestically developed, go beyond the technology and are commercially available.

So far, this development gap of customising the commercial technology has resulted in time gaps between chip-level technology and defence applications that are being fielded.

Intel Military Aerospace and Defense Division senior director Frank Ferrante said: “We are excited to extend our existing relationship with BAE Systems and look forward to working with them to protect national security, critical infrastructure and vital information.”

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Other new partnerships between BAE Systems and Intel formed a basis for the signing of the latest agreement.

Collaboration of the companies on the latest agreement is aimed at delivering advanced capabilities at reduced costs.

BAE Systems’ FAST Labs director Chris Rappa said: “Early access to Intel’s developing technology can speed the timetable of producing defence applications and maintain our country’s technological edge.

“Closing the development gap, potentially by years in some cases, will deliver a critical advantage to our country.”

In April, BAE won two contracts under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Wideband Adaptive RF Protection (WARP) programme.