Babcock to move into quantum technology with Arqit deal

August 24, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Babcock to move into quantum technology with Arqit deal
Collaboration will see Arqit’s QuantumCloud encryption service in live operational scenarios to demonstrate capabilities for Babcock's defence and government projects

Engineering firm Babcock International is to move into quantum technology through a collaboration agreement with UK post-quantum encryption startup Arqit.

The two companies will jointly test and experiment with Arqit’s QuantumCloud on a range of use case scenarios and practical applications for government and defence customers and see Babcock deepen its involvement in quantum technology development.

Specific projects include unmanned ground vehicle programmes, secure manned and unmanned aerial vehicle programmes, secure maritime connectivity programmes and other projects that will come to fruition through ongoing conversations with UK government and R&D agencies.

QuantumCloud creates software encryption keys, combining patented quantum and classical technologies. The product is simple and efficient to use at any cloud, edge, or end point device with minimal disruption to hardware or software through an agent with 200 lines of code. The keys are trustless, computationally secure, and don’t exist until the moment they are needed, and QuantumCloud can create limitless volumes of keys in limitless group sizes and can regulate the secure entrance and exit of a device in a group.

Under the agreement, the software will be tested in live operational scenarios to demonstrate encryption capabilities in a dynamic environment and across a variety of platforms and military networks, including a number of UK Government funded projects.

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Arqit is planning to launch two satellites as part of the service, with the first version now launched with $130m of contracts. In May, Arqit entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Centricus Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, which would result in Arqit becoming a publicly listed company on the US Nasdaq Stock Market under the name Arqit Quantum Inc and headquarters in the Cayman Islands.

“We’re continuing to develop our technology strategy with a particular interest in digital technologies, secure communications and other areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twins and autonomy,” said Richard Drake, Managing Director of Babcock Mission Systems business. “As threats to data evolve we need to respond and grow our capabilities in line with new requirements. As such we are delighted to be collaborating with Arqit on this project, broadening our involvement in quantum encryption and enhancing our encryption capability offering to our customers for use on future projects and programmes.”

David Williams, Founder of Arqit added, “Partnering with Babcock to apply QuantumCloud in live defence use cases is a great opportunity to increase the momentum we have in this market. Following the earlier announcement that QuantumCloud 1.0 is now live for commercial customers to use, we are excited to see its use expanding. We are certain that Arqit, uniquely amongst all other companies, has solved the security layer problem in the Joint All Domain Command and Control market. This gives Arqit, a massive near term revenue opportunity”.

www.babcockinternational.com; www.arqit.uk

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