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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

BAE Systems partners with Microsoft to equip defence programmes with innovative cloud technology

Arms and Aerospace company Bae Systems has teamed up with Microsoft as it seeks to leverage cloud technology in the design, deployment, and management of military projects. According to the company, the cloud will be instrumental in facilitating collaboration on large multinational defence projects, such as the Future Combat Air System as well as helping combine and analyse different sources of data during military operations.

“The data available to the defence sector and armed forces is often highly complex and comes from hundreds of thousands of sources, whether that’s satellite and radar feeds, intelligence gathered by ships at sea or even social media,” said Julian Cracknell, Chief Technology and Information Officer at BAE Systems. “Our innovative agreement with Microsoft will give us easier access to tools that help us make sense of this information for our customers - allowing armed forces to stay ahead of rapidly evolving threats, whilst maintaining the highest levels of security.”

As part of their partnership, BAE Systems will start using the Azure Cloud approach during the software development lifecycle to speed up the process. Speed is critical in the military where a fighter jet, for instance, requires up to 24 million lines of code to function effectively.

“Using the cloud to deploy updates could make the process quicker and help retain a competitive advantage over adversaries,” Bae Systems wrote on their blog.

The two companies are also testing a system that can deploy new software on to an Uncrewed Air Vehicle during flight.

Another area that is set to benefit from the collaboration is the speed with which an innovative idea moves to production. Cloud technology will help to quickly perform data analysis and simulation on large and complex data sets.

The new partnership is driven by the commitment of both organisations to use open architecture digital tools to encourage collaboration with third parties.

The collaboration is already bearing fruits with the two organisations having delivered three successful initiatives. These include:

  • The enhancement of real-time tactical naval intelligence through access to more dynamic data sources

  • The development of secure software to deliver real-time updates to air platforms

  • The creation of a digital thread to support the maintenance of maritime platforms from concept to disposal.


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