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IonQ Announces New $25.5 Million Quantum Deal with United States Air Force Research Lab

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Insider Brief

  • IonQ announced an expanded relationship with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).
  • The company will deliver and set up two barium-based trapped ion quantum computing systems for quantum networking research and application development at AFRL’s location in Rome, N.Y.
  • IonQ achieved a record-setting $28 million in bookings in the second quarter of 2023.

PRESS RELEASE — IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), an industry leader in quantum computing, today announced an expanded relationship with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to deploy two barium-based trapped ion quantum computing systems for quantum networking research and application development.

The deal comes one year after IonQ announced an agreement with AFRL to provide access to the company’s trapped ion systems, and will further enhance AFRL’s research mission. As part of the contract, IonQ will deliver and set up systems at AFRL’s location in Rome, N.Y.

“AFRL is seeing incredible achievements on trapped ion quantum systems to enable and grow US quantum technology, the innovation occurring on the frontlines by industry will bring revolutionary technologies to our warfighters,” said Michael Hayduk, Deputy Director, Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate.

This announcement follows an upswing of activity by the U.S. federal government supporting development of quantum technology, including Congress’ 2018 creation of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI), a broad, interagency program which secured funding for quantum research and development.

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“I applaud the Air Force for its work to advance quantum technology and its applications as they relate to our national security. Quantum computing is sure to be a game-changing field that will yield critically important technologies,” said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). “We cannot afford to find ourselves behind China when it comes to the research and development efforts to enhance military capabilities on the battlefield. This partnership will leverage the Air Force’s resources and brightest minds to ensure the United States continues to make great strides in quantum technology and I was proud to help secure the necessary funding.”

“Quantum computing is sure to play a key role in the future of our economy, our global competitiveness, our national security, and so much more. That’s why I was glad to support federal participation in this public-private partnership between the Air Force and Maryland-based IonQ to facilitate their work in building quantum systems that will help safeguard our nation against emerging security threats. I will keep working to bring investments to Maryland that position our state and our nation to be at the forefront of advanced technologies,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

“As IonQ’s systems approach 64 algorithmic qubits (#AQ 64) and usher in the era of enterprise-grade quantum computing, we are committed to supporting the nation’s security interests. This partnership will significantly help advance U.S. defense technologies as quantum computers increasingly become a prevalent centerpiece of national computing stacks,” said IonQ CEO Peter Chapman. “This agreement with AFRL will advance quantum communications, networking, and computing, while continuing our progress from basic research to directly supporting agency missions.”

In the second quarter of 2023, IonQ achieved a record-setting $28 million in bookings. The deal also comes on the heels of a contract IonQ signed with Switzerland-based QuantumBasel to establish a European quantum data center.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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