in Defence / Events

Babcock partners with Arqit on comms and control tech

Posted 7 December 2023

Babcock has developed a technology with the capability of controlling single or entire fleets of vehicles in a defence environment.

Image courtesy Babcock

Babcock demonstrated its SwarmCore technology, an advanced software system made up of multiple networks, at the UK Ministry of Defence’s BattleLab site last week in Dorset. The project was created in collaboration with Arqit, which specialises in quantum-safe encryption and supported by the UK’s national innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Fundamentally, SwarmCore, which is ready to be tested in the military environment, can be used to control single or entire fleets of vehicles such as drones. It can be operated either fully autonomously or by remote human control at a safe distance from the battlefield.

One of the key benefits of SwarmCore and its integration with Arqit’s Symmetric Key Agreement Platform, is its ability to receive and transmit data in a safe and secure way in a decentralised manner.

In a defence environment, this would mean if a single vehicle as part of a fleet was either hacked or attacked  - the rest of the fleet could continue its mission instructions with no single asset ever being a point of failure.

With the integration of Arqit’s encryption technology, information carried on encrypted keys to and from assets will benefit from robust protection against cyber-attacks.

Babcock Chief Engineering and Technology Officer, Brad Yelland, said combining both autonomous systems with advanced software that can deal with potential cyber threats could be a gamechanger in the modern defence landscape: “Disruptive technologies such as AI, machine learning and quantum - are playing an increasingly important role in the changing defence landscape and the rise in cyber threats.

“For our defence customers, developing technologies like this gives them more control in today’s complex defence environment, increased performance and security along with the ability for their teams to  perform tasks remotely with solutions that are quicker and more cost effective to implement.”

Arqit Founder, Chairman and CEO, David Williams said: “This collaboration with Babcock has allowed us to deliver a ground-breaking technology that not only enhances security but can also boost operational agility, both in the present and in the foreseeable future.”




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