Should Military Planes be Built with Quantum Technology in Mind?

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Military use of quantum computing is still in the theoretical stage, but according to the UK’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, Western nations need to be designing their next-gen aircraft with the ability to use that technology when it is ready.

According to a report made by Braking Defense, Heappey proclaimed at the Global Air Chiefs conference in London that the arrival of quantum would be the threshold that could unlock the full potential of AI automation.

When considering that aircraft being flown and designed today will still be in service decades from now, we need to be planning for how to incorporate quantum in the future.

“All of them will be in service when quantum computing arrives so we have to be able to buy aircraft, design aircraft, where the moment that those computers are good to go, you can rip out whatever’s in there and chuck in the quantum computer because I think that this is a ‘tank versus cavalry,’ ‘machine guns versus humans’ moment,” he said.

Despite the science world not knowing exactly how close quantum computing is to actual practical application, Heappey explained to the conference how crucial using it could be.

“At the moment, that thing that holds us back from being able to understand where a target is in the entire noise of the battlespace is our ability to crunch the data. Very often it comes back to human judgment,” he said.

“Quantum computing will be working at a speed we can’t imagine. It will enormously change what our armed forces can do, and we’ve got to be ready to spiral onto our machines when that moment comes. And that’s the key,” Heappey added.

In conclusion, it seems that the current pace of technology means the old paradigm of how aircraft age no longer applies, and the industry should think outside of the box to sustain relevancy.