BAE Systems and Microsoft team up to equip digital defense in the cloud

image of Navy boat and aircraft | BAE Systems and Microsoft

Microsoft and BAE Systems, the British multinational arms, security and aerospace firm, have entered into a strategic partnership which aims to support faster and easier development, deployment and management of digital defense capabilities in an increasingly data centric world.

This agreement combines BAE Systems’ knowledge of building complex digital systems for militaries and governments with Microsoft’s approach to developing applications using its Azure Cloud platform.

Air, land and maritime platforms face constantly changing threats, so their digital systems need to be regularly updated to recognize and counter them. As part of this partnership, BAE Systems and Microsoft have used the Azure Cloud approach to accelerate software design, development and testing of a system that can deploy new software onto an Uncrewed Air Vehicle during flight. Using cloud technology could speed up the deployment of software to operational military platforms in the future.

Since the creation of their partnership, both companies have collaborated on three successful initiatives, highlighting the benefits of modern cloud software in the defense sector. The projects included enhancing real-time tactical naval intelligence, development of secure software to deliver real-time updates to air platforms and the creation of a digital thread to support the maintenance of maritime platforms from concept to disposal.

This news follows from previous cloud and defense announcements over the pond such as the Pentagon selecting Microsoft among other cloud giants, including Oracle, Google and AWS,  in a $9bn cloud contract.

Clare Barclay, CEO, Microsoft UK, said: “This strategic agreement will enable defense organizations to use data more effectively. This will help them promote stability and security for residents, nations and multinational alliances.

“By working together, delivering agile, secure and reliable software, BAE Systems and Microsoft are already delivering tangible results to our customers. These results mean they can modernize environments, protect information domains and optimize operations.”

Julian Cracknell, chief technology and information officer at BAE Systems, said: “The data available to the defense 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.

“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.”