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IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), an industry leader in quantum computing, announced today that it has been awarded a $13.4 million contract to provide the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) with access to its trapped ion systems for quantum computing hardware research and for the development of quantum algorithms and applications.
Quantum computing, systems and applications have the potential to help the US Air Force protect both public and private infrastructure across the United States. The AFRL-IonQ agreement, which represents IonQ’s latest commercialization milestone, represents a significant public-private partnership to invest in quantum computing.
“Traped ion systems and their performance, demonstrated by highly algorithmic qubits (AQ), have some very unique properties that make them one of the leading technologies in the development of quantum computing and networking capabilities,” said Michael Hayduk, deputy director of information at the research laboratory of the Air Force. “This contract solidifies AFRL’s long-term strategic focus on quantum information science. The partnership will accelerate critical quantum science and technology projects, benefiting the Air Force as we seek to maintain our competitive advantage and advance our national security interests.”
In 2021, the US House of Representatives passed the Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, signaling a renewed focus on the need for US investment in quantum – both to protect against quantum-powered attacks by foreign actors and to develop quantum computing power on the domestic front. In May 2022 the Biden-Harris administration announced instructions to support US leadership on quantum computing, and in September the National Security Administration (NSA) announced guidance on it Importance of cybersecurity readiness against potential adversaries developing quantum systems.
“Quantum computing is the key that we believe will unlock unanticipated efficiencies and strengths in the development and deployment of US defense technologies,” said Peter Chapman, CEO of IonQ. “This area of research is incredibly promising, and we are proud to be among the first to work with the AFRL to expand American leadership in this important area.”
IonQ’s work with the AFRL continues its momentum of commercial and scientific achievements, which include research and commercial relationships in the last 12 months alone airbus, GE research, Goldman Sachs, Hyundai and other. The company also recently announced that its industry-leading system IonQ Aria on Microsoft Azure Quantum is publicly available, enabling developers, researchers, engineers and industry leaders from around the world to access Quantum via the cloud.
This agreement with AFRL was included in the previously identified opportunity in IonQ’s late-stage booking forecast, which was at risk of closing in 2022 last earnings call of August 15, 2022.