Quantum Tech

NATO quantum strategy for defence and security released

19th January 2024
Harry Fowle

NATO quantum strategy has now been inaugurally adopted, marking a significant step towards revolutionising defence and security innovations.

The strategy, recently approved by NATO Foreign Ministers, focuses on making the Alliance 'quantum-ready,' a crucial initiative given the transformative potential of quantum technologies.

The realm of quantum technology encompasses various facets, with implications stretching across sensing, imaging, precise positioning, navigation, timing, and notably, in enhancing underwater submarine detection. The strategy also prioritises the advancement and safeguarding of data communications through the implementation of quantum-resistant cryptography.

Quantum technologies, already prevalent in the private sector, are increasingly seen as critical components in strategic competition. NATO's strategy aims to cultivate a robust transatlantic ecosystem for quantum technologies by fostering collaborative efforts between NATO and industry leaders. This cooperation is vital for preparing the Alliance to counteract any malevolent applications of these advanced technologies.

Quantum is identified as a pivotal technological domain by NATO Allies, alongside other critical areas such as artificial intelligence, data and computing, autonomy, biotechnology and human enhancements, hypersonic technologies, energy and propulsion, novel materials, next-generation communications networks, and space.

NATO's commitment to quantum innovation is evident through its Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). Out of the 44 companies chosen for DIANA’s programme, six specialise in quantum technology. Their contributions are expected to lead to breakthroughs in next-generation cryptography, the development of high-speed lasers for enhanced satellite connectivity, and the deployment of quantum-enhanced 3-D imaging sensors in complex undersea environments. DIANA also foresees quantum technology playing a vital role in the solutions proposed for its future challenges.

Following the establishment of this new strategy, NATO is set to initiate the creation of a Transatlantic Quantum Community. This initiative will involve collaboration with governments, industries, and academia across the innovation spectrum, aiming to harness the full potential of quantum technologies in defence and security realms.

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