BAE Systems has signed a strategic agreement with Microsoft and leverages Azure, the software giant’s public cloud platform, to deliver new capabilities to various defense industry entities.
The defense contractor said the contract with Microsoft is ultimately designed to accelerate the time it takes to develop, deploy and manage digital defense capabilities with the Azure cloud enabling BAE Systems to better use the data accumulated during military operations to create new products for customers.
This work will see the organization use Azure to perform data analysis and simulation work, as well as improve BAE Systems’ digital engineering capabilities by using data to digitally connect the design, manufacturing and operation of products throughout their life.
The collaboration has already seen the duo work on projects designed to improve the Royal Navy’s access to dynamic data sources to provide real-time tactical naval intelligence, and the development of secure software capable of providing updates to in-flight aerial platforms.
“Air, land and sea platforms face ever-changing threats, so their digital systems must be regularly updated to recognize and counter them,” the two companies said in a joint statement.
“Modern fighter jets, for example, can require up to 24 million lines of code to operate efficiently, so using the cloud to deploy updates could speed up the process and help retain a competitive edge over adversaries.”
The collaboration is also underpinned by a commitment from both parties to jointly develop technologies using open architecture tools so that BAE Systems customers can easily integrate the resulting offerings with other third-party technologies.
“This could help BAE Systems collaborate with small businesses and partners without compromising security, by only allowing access to very specific areas of work. Using this approach allows small businesses to meet more easily meet rigorous defense security standards,” the joint statement continued.
Julian Cracknell, Head of Technology and Information at BAE Systems, said: “The data available to the defense sector and the armed forces is often very complex and comes from hundreds of thousands of sources, whether it is be it satellite and radar feeds, intelligence gathered by ships at sea or even social media.
“Our innovative agreement with Microsoft will give us easier access to tools that help us make sense of this information for our customers – enabling the armed forces to stay ahead of rapidly evolving threats, while maintaining the highest levels of security.”
Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, said the collaboration between the two parties is “already producing tangible results” for BAE Systems customers.
“This strategic agreement will enable defense organizations to use data more effectively. This will help them promote the stability and security of residents, nations and multinational alliances…by working together, providing agile, secure and reliable software.