UK military investigating quantum computers for battlefield tanks

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has bought a quantum computer that doesn’t require bulky cooling equipment, meaning it could one day be installed on military hardware such as tanks

Technology 10 June 2022

SALISBURY, ENGLAND - Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank during a training exercise on Salisbury Plain Training Area in Salisbury, England. 5 RIFLES Battlegroup prepares for deployment on Op CABRIT in Estonia as part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence later this year. 5 RIFLES Battlegroup is trialing a new concept of training or Operational Readiness Model (ORM) on behalf of The Field Army to ensure they are mission ready. Additionally, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, training methods have been adjusted with innovative measures introduced to ensure that training isn't compromised and expectations and operational outputs lowered. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

A Challenger 2 tank during a training exercise in Salisbury, UK

Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has bought a quantum computer in the hope that the technology can be installed in battlefield tanks, says Richard Murray, the CEO of Orca Computing. Orca announced the deal with the MoD this week, but the initial focus is on research and training.

“This device we’re shipping to them certainly won’t do anything a classical computer won’t, and I suppose, in that view, it’s a research tool,” says Murray. “There’s a lot of activity being funded at the moment on upskilling …

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