IonQ to support US AFRL’s quantum computing research efforts

IonQ has been awarded a $13.4 million contract to provide quantum computing-based solutions for the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

Under this contract, the company will provide AFRL with access to its trapped ion systems to support quantum computing hardware research and the development of quantum algorithms and applications.

Specifically, this fixed-price contract supports the delivery and installation of a quantum computer.

According to the US Department of Defense (DoD) announcement, the computer will create quantum algorithms for DoD applications.

The work will be carried out in College Park, Maryland, USA. Completion is scheduled for September 2025.

AFRL Information Directorate Associate Director Michael Hayduk said: “Trapped 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 make networking skills.

“This contract solidifies AFRL’s long-term strategic focus in quantum information science.

“The partnership will accelerate critical quantum science and technology projects, which will benefit the USAF as we seek to maintain our competitive advantage and advance our national security interests.”

IonQ determined that the quantum computing systems and applications are capable of meeting US Air Force (USAF) requirements to protect the country’s private and public infrastructure.

This contract also marks IonQ’s commercialization milestone, which marks a major public-private partnership to invest in quantum computing.

Last year, a Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act was introduced by the US House of Representatives, focusing on the need to invest in quantum capabilities to protect the country from potential future quantum attacks.

Peter Chapman, CEO of IonQ, said, “Quantum computing is the key that we believe will unlock unanticipated efficiencies and strengths in the development and deployment of US defense technologies.”