The US Pentagon supports quantum precision targeting weapons

Theoretically, rate Computing has the explosive potential to rewrite the principles of classical physics as we know them. This feature brings possibilities that we thought were impossible.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes this and wants to use quantum for military applications.

On June 14, the Department of Defense announced it would support a project to do just that advanced applications of quantum technology in kinetic weapons systems.

This quantum capability will “enable greater accuracy at longer range, lower collateral damage, and more versatile platforms,” ​​the DoD said.

Quantum computers use the properties of quantum physics to store data and perform calculations.

The Department of Defense has selected the Army Research Laboratory project team investigating quantum structures to revolutionize precision weapons as the winner of the Applied Research for Advancement of Science and Technology Priorities 2024 award competition.

The CLAssical quantum hybrid structures to Advance Weapons Systems (CLAWS) project has been selected as one of three of nine projects to receive support from the Department of Defense.

Winners were selected based on specific measures, including eligibility for applied research funding. ability to address a specific technology or capability gap; ability to foster collaboration across the DoD; present a realistic program plan and demonstrate a clear path from research to product development.

The three-year, $45 million project will support scientists and engineers across the Department of Defense and see the team work with academia and industry to develop emerging technologies into disruptive capabilities in areas such as imaging, positioning , navigation, timing and quantum.

Using quantum for precision targeting

We have yet to realize the full potential of quantum. GlobalDataa leading intelligence consultancy, tells us that quantum supremacy is at least a decade away.

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It will be years before any quantum computer can run Shor’s or Grover’s algorithms – these are algorithms run on a quantum computer that improve its performance over any classical algorithm – at any scale that can solve industry problems .

In the meantime, quantum computer researchers will develop algorithms for quantum simulators. These algorithms can be run on classical computers, on noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices, or on a hybrid of the two.

For this reason, the CLAWS team plans to develop a hybrid approach that will improve the overall functionality of weapon systems on the market.

The coming years will see an evolution of noisy medium-scale quantum (NISQ) devices and the development of modular systems, each generation progressively more robust and less fragile, GlobalData adds.

They will offer some quantum advantage in optimization applications and start working in hybrid systems. just as the CLAWS team hopes quantum will play an optimizing role in its weapon systems.

However, at this time, directed energy weapons (DEW) are at the forefront of precision fire protection, particularly in air defense. GlobalData’s information says that while there is increased use of unmanned aerial systems, tactical drone swarms and the introduction of hypersonic missiles, these new methods have led some observers to consider the possibility of DEW as an effective counter to these emerging technologies.

With that in mind, the DoD’s decision to support a hybrid quantum approach will help support the quantum market, which GlobalData tells us is going through a slow investment period due to “extremely difficult engineering issues and excessive hype.”

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