Today’s modern military conflicts require modern military technologies that give our forces a decisive edge. Without a doubt, software in the cloud has become increasingly critical in the new digital battlespace to ensure proactive defense, responsiveness, and adaptability when competing with near-peer adversaries. It plays a huge role in enabling better intelligence gathering and sharing, detection and targeting, command and control, logistics, secure communications, unmanned vehicles, cyber warfare and more. However, getting mission-critical software to the various military branches in time for them to make a difference is a Byzantine process at best.
That’s why SandboxAQ has joined 18 other national security-focused technology startups and small businesses to petition Congress requesting they address key challenges in the defense procurement process that increases sales cycles and impedes our ability to rapidly deliver new innovations and capabilities to the Pentagon.
Specifically, the three-page letter we wrote to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees highlights the need for a unified and streamlined procurement process across all military branches – as opposed to distinct, individual ones – and the ability for said branches to contract directly with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product providers to develop new or implement existing solutions to meet critical needs. We also asked them to reinstate several programs designed to help small companies scale up operations to bring promising prototypes into production.
These requested changes are incredibly important because a tremendous amount of innovation that can give our military and intelligence services an edge over adversaries comes from startup companies. However, the time and resources needed to pass the DoD’s rigorous approval and procurement processes, coupled with the challenge and cost of proving the ability to scale, kill or delay many of these projects.
AI+Quantum (AQ) technologies, in the form of post-quantum cryptography, quantum sensing and quantum simulation, are among the many innovations the military is exploring for their broad applications and use-cases such as:
- Cybersecurity/Cyber Warfare: Protecting data, communications and computer networks from quantum threats while being able to penetrate adversarial cyber defenses
- Navigation: Leveraging Earth’s magnetic field to replace satellite-based navigation, whose signals can be hacked, spoofed or denied
- Threat Detection/Sensing: Enhanced electronic targeting capabilities (e.g., radar, sonar, IR, etc.) but also nuclear, biological and chemical sensing
- Advanced Materials: Designing new materials at the molecular level, such as stronger, lighter body armor, longer-lasting batteries and synthetic fuels
- Rapid Prototyping: Digitally designing and testing the performance of new products under adverse “physical” conditions prior to production
- Secure Communications: Developing high-speed, quantum-safe networks that are impervious to quantum attack
- Healthcare: Advanced, portable medical imaging to improve field triage, diagnosis, surgery and long-term care for veterans
As lawmakers continue drafting the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation, we’re hoping they consider our petition and empower the DoD to employ the use of more SaaS-based solutions, which nearly every Fortune 500 company routinely uses to drive innovation, improve operations, and stay competitive in the commercial world. SandboxAQ stands ready with innovative AQ solutions to help the U.S. Government and its military defend our nation’s interests and protect our fellow citizens. You can find out more about our Public Sector capabilities here, and learn more about the movement to change the DoD procurement process in this great FedScoop article.