Archer and Australian Missile Corp to develop sovereign defence capabilities

An Australian quantum computing company is bringing its 12CQ quantum computing chip technology into a partnership with Australia's largest local Defence weapons and munitions supplier.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
Image: Getty Images

Archer Materials has announced signing a deal with the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) that will see the former work on the development of sovereign defence capabilities.

The Australian Missile Corporation is a subsidiary of NIOA, a Defence prime contractor and the largest Australian-owned supplier of weapons and munitions to Defence.

Archer is developing quantum computing processor chip technology, and said it currently possesses advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities that will be of benefit to a future sovereign guided weapons enterprise.

The non-binding letter of intent Archer has signed with AMC will be focused on its 12CQ quantum computing chip technology.

The agreement forms part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's AU$1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise initiative which he said will support missile and guided weapons manufacturing for use across the Australian Defence Force.

The initiative will receive a total of AU$270 billion over the next decade to strengthen Australia's defence forces through high-tech submarines, new fighter jets, hypersonic weapons, and advanced munitions.

"Archer supports the government's vision for the development of a sovereign guided weapons enterprise in Australia and we look forward to contributing to NIOA's collaborative initiative," Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said.

"Archer brings to this national endeavour key capabilities in quantum computing and advanced semiconductor materials manufacture which will be critical to creating, supporting, and developing Australian defence capabilities."

Earlier this month, Archer provided an update on the development of its 12CQ chip.

Archer has been working with Brisbane-based Max Kelsen to develop quantum algorithms relevant to the chip in the field of AI. Both parties are members of the IBM Quantum Network.

"Quantum algorithm development, testing, and validation is an essential part of the early-stage development and commercialisation of the 12CQ chip because it links the chip operation to end-use applications," Archer said.

"The collaboration with Max Kelsen … is part of the company's broader strategy to target end-uses and applications of the 12CQ chip in mobility technology."

Archer said the pair have made significant progress in the development of quantum neural networks. It said the work has involved adapting a unique class of quantum algorithms, called quantum approximation optimisation algorithm, to be used in the training of quantum neural networks, and more generally, variational quantum eigensolvers.

"Early results of the ongoing algorithm development with Max Kelsen indicate that significant improvements in algorithmic performance can be achieved. This is important since it may provide a viable pathway to implementation of quantum neural networks and related algorithms on near-term, early versions of quantum computing hardware devices," Archer explained.


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