Quantum computing company D-Wave announced progress in national defence solutions on 7 August, after revealing an interceptor assignment application at the Space and Missile Defence Symposium this week. 

Since August 2022, D-Wave, housed at the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center, has worked in conjunction with aerospace and missile defence company Davidson Technologies to produce a quantum computing technology that is able to take into account missile capability in negating threats, balanced allocation of missiles to threats, and the availability of resources for threat identification and mitigation. 

Global missiles and missile defence market is set to reach $67.5bn by 2033, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems Market Forecast 2023-2033,”

The companies also showcased the use of quantum computing in the management of a phased-array radar, enabling the scheduling of time-limited resources when communicating with moving objects. 

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As the first commercial provider of quantum computers and the only company to construct both annealing quantum computers and gate-model quantum computers, D-Wave is at the forefront of developing and delivering quantum computing systems, software, and services. 

D-Wave and Davidson have been working together since August 2022, when they signed a reseller agreement that allows Davidson to resell D-Wave’s products and services, including the Leap quantum cloud service.

“During times of military response, speed matters”

Major General John W. Holly (USA, Ret.), president, CEO and chairman of Davidson.

“During times of military response, speed matters, and our artificial intelligence, powered by D-Wave’s technology, provided an answer much faster than other computational options,” said Major General John W. Holly (USA, Ret.), president, CEO and chairman of Davidson. “Our mission is to deliver advanced, agile technology solutions in defence of our Nation, and together with D-Wave, we’re providing our government customers with critical applications in service to our country.”

Dr. Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave, said that “By utilising emerging and advanced technologies, Davidson is able to provide its customers with unique military implementation and national defence tools.” He went on to state D-Wave and Davidson would be working together in a multi-year relationship to advance more “more robust application development”.

According to GlobalData’s ‘Thematic Intelligence: Quantum Computing’ report, the US is planning $3 billion in federal quantum projects, with another $1.2 billion coming from the National Quantum Initiative. President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act in 2022, which “authorises new investments in core quantum research programmes.” Even more money is likely to come from Pentagon “black budget” projects. 

In the UK, the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) has spent £2.6m in R&D contracts with quantum enterprises, stimulating development in the UK quantum ecosystem, as part of its plan to provide insight and access to quantum computing.

On 2 August, MBDA, leaders of the HYDIS consortium, announced that the European Commission has backed the project framework for research on a hypersonic interceptor, through the European Defence Fund. The consortium contributes to the AQUILA concept for an endo-atmospheric hypersonic interceptor capability that can reach 100km above the surface of the Earth.