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Arqit has signed a new cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to demonstrate its QuantumCloud platform for US military applications.

The agreement was entered by the quantum encryption technology provider with the US Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Space Electro-Optics Division.

Arqit founder, chairman and CEO David Williams said: “We are honoured to sign a CRADA with the USAF.

“They have a fantastic pedigree for embracing and developing pioneering technology and given its lead status in areas such as directed energy, cyber warfare, and Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), the USAF is the perfect partner for us not only in developing applications for US Government users but also for other Five-Eyes partners.”

The agreement will see the company showcase the practical usability of its product in securing communications links of the USAF’s networked devices against threats, as well as for broader US Department of Defense (DoD) systems.

In line with this, the company will upgrade its QuantumCloud platform to incorporate quantum satellites and then explore the space-to-ground quantum encryption links.

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As agreed, numerous performance measures and interoperabilities will be assessed for validating QuantumCloud.

Air Force Research Laboratory captain Steven Long said: “The planned collaboration with Arqit under this agreement will highlight the performance and configurability of the Research Lab’s ground to space quantum infrastructure.

“This opportunity provided by Arqit gives us the ability to demonstrate a quantum communications channel with a commercial partner and conduct various scientific research experiments at the same time.

“This is made possible by Arqit’s advances in practical usability of quantum encryption in the private sector.”