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Quantum Chip Fabrication Paves Way for Scalable Processors, Producing the Largest Quantum Chip of its Type Using Diamond-Based Qubits and Quantum Photonics

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — An Army-funded project marks a turning point in the field of scalable quantum processors, producing the largest quantum chip of its type using diamond-based qubits and quantum photonics.

Millions of quantum processors will be needed to build quantum computers, and new research at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories, funded and managed in part by the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development’s Command’s Army Research Laboratory’s Center for Distributed Quantum Information, demonstrates a viable way to scale-up processor production.

“Building large scale quantum devices will entail both the assembly of large numbers of high-quality qubits and the creation of reliable circuits for transmitting and manipulating quantum information between them,” said Dr. Fredrik Fatemi, Army researcher and CDQI co-manager. “Here, the research team has demonstrated exceptional progress toward reliably manufacturing complex quantum chips with both critical elements.”

Unlike classical computers, which process and store information using bits represented by either 0s and 1s, quantum computers operate using quantum bits, or qubits, which can represent 0, 1, or both at the same time. This strange property allows quantum computers to simultaneously perform multiple calculations, solving problems that would be intractable for classical computers.

The qubits in the new chip are artificial atoms made from defects in the diamond, which can be prodded with visible light and microwaves to emit photons that carry quantum information. The process, which the researchers describe in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, is a hybrid approach, in which carefully selected quantum micro-chiplets containing multiple diamond-based qubits are placed on an aluminum nitride photonic integrated circuit.

“In the past 20 years of quantum engineering, it has been the ultimate vision to manufacture such artificial qubit systems at volumes comparable to integrated electronics,” said Dirk Englund, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “Although there has been remarkable progress in this very active area of research, fabrication and materials complications have thus far yielded just two to three emitters per photonic system.”

Using their hybrid method, the researchers were able to build a 128-qubit system — the largest integrated artificial atom-photonics chip yet.

The artificial atoms in the chiplets consist of color centers in diamonds, defects in diamond’s carbon lattice where adjacent carbon atoms are missing, with their spaces either filled by a different element or left vacant. In the chiplets, the replacement elements are germanium and silicon. Each center functions as an atom-like emitter whose spin states can form a qubit. The artificial atoms emit colored particles of light, or photons, that carry the quantum information represented by the qubit.

Diamond color centers make good solid-state qubits, but “the bottleneck with this platform is actually building a system and device architecture that can scale to thousands and millions of qubits,” said Noel Wan, MIT research and the paper’s coauthor. “Artificial atoms are in a solid crystal, and unwanted contamination can affect important quantum properties such as coherence times. Furthermore, variations within the crystal can cause the qubits to be different from one another, and that makes it difficult to scale these systems.”

Instead of trying to build a large quantum chip entirely in diamond, the researchers decided to take a modular and hybrid approach.

“We use semiconductor fabrication techniques to make these small chiplets of diamond, from which we select only the highest quality qubit modules,” Wan said. “Then we integrate those chiplets piece-by-piece into another chip that wires the chiplets together into a larger device.”

The integration takes place on a photonic integrated circuit, which is analogous to an electronic integrated circuit but uses photons rather than electrons to carry information. Photonics provides the underlying architecture to route and switch photons between modules in the circuit with low loss. The circuit platform is aluminum nitride, rather than the traditional silicon of some integrated circuits.

Using this hybrid approach of photonic circuits and diamond chiplets, the researchers were able to connect 128 qubits on one platform. The qubits are stable and long-lived, and their emissions can be tuned within the circuit to produce spectrally indistinguishable photons, according to the researchers.

While the platform offers a scalable process to produce artificial atom-photonics chips, the next step will be to test its processing skills.

“This is a proof of concept that solid-state qubit emitters are very scalable quantum technologies,” Wan said. “In order to process quantum information, the next step would be to control these large numbers of qubits and also induce interactions between them.”

The qubits in this type of chip design wouldn’t necessarily have to be these particular diamond color centers. Other chip designers might choose other types of diamond color centers, atomic defects in other semiconductor crystals like silicon carbide, certain semiconductor quantum dots, or rare-earth ions in crystals.

“Because the integration technique is hybrid and modular, we can choose the best material suitable for each component, rather than relying on natural properties of only one material, thus allowing us to combine the best properties of each disparate material into one system,” said Tsung-Ju Lu, MIT researcher and the paper’s co-author.

Finding a way to automate the process and demonstrate further integration with optoelectronic components such as modulators and detectors will be necessary to build even bigger chips necessary for modular quantum computers and multichannel quantum repeaters that transport qubits over long distances, the researchers said.

“The team has made an incredible advance toward the large-scale integration of artificial atoms and photonics and, looking forward, we are very excited for increasingly complex testing of the devices,” said Dr. Sara Gamble, program manager at the Army Research Office, an element of CCDC ARL, and CDQI co-manager. “The modular approach so far successfully demonstrated by the team has enormous promise for the future quantum computers and quantum networks of high interest to the Army.”

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

*Adapted with permission from an article by Becky Ham, MIT News.

Army Project Develops Self-Healing Material Patterned After Nature

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — An Army-funded project developed a self-healing material patterned after squid ring teeth protein. The biodegradable biosynthetic polymer could be used to repair materials that are under continual repetitive movement such as robotic machines, prosthetic legs, ventilators and personal protective equipment like hazmat suits.

“Materials that undergo continual repetitive motion often develop tiny tears and cracks that can expand, leading to catastrophic failure,” said Dr. Stephanie McElhinny, biochemistry program manager, Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. “With a self-healing bio-based synthetic material, any sites of damage that emerge can be repaired, extending the lifetime of the system or device.”

The research at Penn State University and Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany, funded in by part by ARO, and published in Nature Materials produced high-strength synthetic proteins that mimic those found in nature. The researchers surveyed large libraries of novel proteins created by assembling repetitive sequences from the squid ring teeth protein in different configurations.

Squid ring teeth are circular predatory appendages located on the suction cups of squid used to grasp prey. If the teeth are broken — they can heal themselves. The soft parts in the proteins help the broken proteins fuse back together in water, while the hard parts help to reinforce the structure and keep it strong.

“Our goal is to create self-healing programmable materials with unprecedented control over their physical properties using synthetic biology,” said Melik Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State and the paper’s co-author.

Current strategies for material self-healing have significant limitations, including requirements for potentially hazardous chemicals, loss in functionality of the healed material relative to the original state, and long healing times, often greater than 24 hours.

“We were able to reduce a typical 24-hour healing period to one second, so our protein-based soft robots can now repair themselves immediately,” said Abdon Pena-Francelsch, Humboldt postdoctoral fellow, physical intelligence department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and lead author of the paper. “In nature, self-healing takes a long time. In this sense, our technology outsmarts nature.”

The self-healing polymer heals with the application of water and heat, although Demirel said that it could also heal using light.

“Self-repairing physically intelligent soft materials are essential for building robust and fault-tolerant soft robots and actuators in the near future,” said Metin Sitti, director, physical intelligence department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

By adjusting the number of tandem repeats, the researchers created a soft polymer that healed rapidly and retained its original strength. They also created a polymer that is 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable into the same, original polymer.

“We want to minimize the use of petroleum-based polymers for many reasons,” Demirel said. “Sooner or later we will run out of petroleum and it is also polluting and causing global warming. We can’t compete with the really inexpensive plastics. The only way to compete is to supply something the petroleum-based polymers can’t deliver and self-healing provides the performance needed.”

Demirel explained that while many petroleum-based polymers can be recycled, they are recycled into something different. For example, polyester t-shirts can be recycled into bottles, but not into polyester fibers again.

Just as the squid the polymer mimics biodegrades in the ocean, the biomimetic polymer will biodegrade. With the addition of an acid like vinegar, the polymer will also recycle into a powder that is manufacturable into the same, soft, self-healing polymer.

“This research illuminates the landscape of material properties that become accessible by going beyond proteins that exist in nature using synthetic biology approaches,” McElhinny said. “The rapid and high-strength self-healing of these synthetic proteins demonstrates the potential of this approach to deliver novel materials for future Army applications, such as personal protective equipment or flexible robots that could maneuver in confined spaces.”

In addition to Army funding, the Max Planck Society, the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research of Germany and the Huck Endowment of the Pennsylvania State University supported this work.

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

US Army Prototypes Integrated Visual Augmentation System Network Capabilities for Tactical Vehicles

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 23, 2020) — Army Futures Command (AFC) is using rapid prototyping to integrate tactical network systems, which will enhance functionality of the Soldier-worn Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), onto combat vehicles.

IVAS provides Soldiers with improved situational awareness capabilities as they fight, train and rehearse missions. IVAS capabilities include a digital display to access information without taking eyes off the battlefield, thermal and low-light sensors, rapid target acquisition, aided target identification and augmented reality.

The Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center — a component of AFC’s Combat Capabilities Development Command — is leading the prototyping efforts, in coordination with IVAS developers and network project management offices. The Center uses its in-house expertise to inform and refine the design, fit and function needed to house and integrate network components, including radios, servers and cables.

The C5ISR Center started design work this spring to integrate IVAS devices with Stryker armored vehicles, leading to Vehicle Excursion 2 (VE2) in January 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) will host VE 2 with about a dozen participating organizations from Army research and development, acquisition and operational forces. It will be a static vehicle user study focused on assessing the utility and proof of concept of new capabilities on Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to gain early Soldier feedback.

To enhance IVAS network connectivity and capabilities, C5ISR Center engineers and network system developers engineered a network communications gateway and data management kit known as Project Bloodhound in 2019. The C5ISR Center delivered the integrated network kit mounted on an MRZR all-terrain vehicle, which allowed dismounted Soldiers using IVAS to connect into the broader Army tactical network to share and receive data.

This prototype and others will enhance modernization efforts led by the C5ISR Center, SL CFT, the Network CFT, Program Manager IVAS, and PM Tactical Radios.

Bloodhound allows greater connectivity throughout the company echelon, through a tactical radio integration kit that includes radio gateways that enable voice and data information to be pushed and pulled from multiple sources. This concept is being applied to the Stryker prototype effort.

“We designed Project Bloodhound as a modular vehicle-mounted system that can be integrated into any vehicle,” said C5ISR Center mechanical engineer Ryan Stuk. “Certain features could be employed in a command post or dismounted capacity. We’re now taking the knowledge and expertise gained from the MRZR integration and applying those to Strykers.”

The Stryker effort will provide additional capabilities for Soldiers, whether they are mounted, dismounted or in transition, Stuk said. The Army’s three objectives are to leverage the Strykers as an IVAS power source to maintain mission capability, integrate with existing and future vehicle-based onboard camera systems, and enhance Soldiers’ situational awareness while mounted or transitioning to dismounted.

The Center’s organic, internal prototype integration facility (PIF) has enabled the Army to meets its objectives for multiple design iterations, changing requirements and quick deadlines, said Tom Brutofsky, chief of the C5ISR PIF. A key aspect to Project Bloodhound has been additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing.

“The C5ISR PIF has invested heavily in additive manufacturing to develop a rapid prototyping capability to deliver functional designs with significant cost and time savings,” Brutofsky said. “The PIF manufactured the MRZR Bloodhound prototype approximately 80 percent through additive processes and went from concept to functional prototype in less than three months.

“Additive manufacturing also enables easier modifications as engineers gather Soldier feedback during exercises and as the Army identifies additional vehicles for network kit integration.”

Soldier touch points like VE2 enable the Army to transition from R&D to prototypes and then mature capabilities for fielding.

“For the C5ISR Center, incorporating Soldier feedback is essential,” Brutofsky said. “Understanding the needs of Soldiers on the battlefield early on helps us make better use of time and resources.”

By Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

US Army Awards Contract for Hybrid Electric Prototype

Saturday, July 25th, 2020

Fort Belvoir, Va. — The Army recently issued a contract award to rapidly prototype hybrid electric drives into an Army combat vehicle as a key step in scaling-up this widely available commercial technology.

Hybrid electric drives (HEDs), used today in commercial cars, buses, heavy trucks and other vehicles, could significantly reduce Army vehicle costs related to maintenance and fuel consumption, increase reliability, and improve performance, with no added size, weight and power (SWaP) demands.

Under an Other Transaction for Prototype Authority (pOTA) agreement, issued by the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) on July 16 in the amount of $32.2 million, BAE Systems will deliver two vehicles retrofitted with HEDs. The entire effort, from contract to delivery, is expected to take 24 months.

The HED – consisting of an upgraded engine, a transmission replaced by an electric drive motor, and the addition of lithium ion batteries – turns engine power into electricity for greater mobility and operating additional onboard equipment.

“By rapidly prototyping HEDs on a small scale, we can jump-start advanced electrification and hybridization of Army platforms, and encourage our industry partners to invest in these products to meet Army standards,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, who oversees the RCCTO.

With the HED replacing the traditional heavy mechanical powertrain, the design has the potential to provide increased automotive performance, increase survivability by reducing the thermal and acoustic signature of the vehicle, increase acceleration capability, and improve lethality. The Army anticipates reduced fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent, and with a smaller number of parts, vehicles with HED technology should be easier to maintain.

Under the contract, the Army will use the A2 Bradley as the surrogate vehicle. BAE will integrate two HED vehicles, which will then undergo contractor performance assessments, testing and validation, ultimately leading to the transition to Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). The RCCTO is working closely with PEO GCS throughout the effort.

“HEDs add a high-voltage generator that turns engine power into electricity for greater mobility and for operating additional equipment, both of which increase combat effectiveness,” said Mike Foster, director of the RCCTO’s Rapid Acquisition Prototyping Project Office. “It also offers the ability, because of its electric powertrain, to conduct silent over-watch missions and silent mobility.”

The Bradley is being used because of the small form factor fit of the engine, which is smaller than other tracked vehicles and can then scale-up to be applied to other platforms, including future vehicles.

Once the two vehicles are complete, the RCCTO will conduct additional field assessments on the HED technology with Soldier feedback prior to the handoff with PEO GCS.

The Army RCCTO, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is chartered to develop rapid prototypes and field residual combat capabilities. Its top focus areas are hypersonics and directed energy, but the organization is also conducting rapid prototyping in areas such as the hybrid Bradley, an electronic warfare kit for dismounted threat mapping, and advanced radars.

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office

Army Greens Slated to Reach All Installations by Mid-2021

Friday, July 24th, 2020

WASHINGTON — Recruiters, drill sergeants, and initial entry trainees will be among the first to receive the new Army Green Service Uniform, as program officials look to distribute it to all installations by the middle of next fiscal year.

The uniform harkens back to the “greatest generation” of Soldiers who fought during World War II.

“For the past year, I’ve been wearing the Army Greens. Wherever I go, people tell me that they love the uniform,” said Army Vice Chief Of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin.

“As we transition to the next phase of the rollout, I’m excited for the Soldiers who are about to receive the uniform,” he added. “I think that when they see themselves in the mirror they’ll feel connected to the Soldiers of the past and realize that they’re writing the next chapter of what people feel about our Army.”

Rollout schedule

Personnel in basic combat training and one-station unit training should receive the AGSU beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, said Lt. Col. Naim Lee, product manager of Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment at Program Executive Office Soldier.

Fort Sill, Oklahoma, will be the first training location to issue the uniform, shortly followed by Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he added.

The Army had originally planned to begin issuing the uniforms at IET locations before the end of this fiscal year. However, Lee said, setbacks during production related to COVID-19 forced a short delay in the rollout process.

Soldiers attending the Army’s Recruiting and Retention College at Fort Knox, Kentucky, started to receive their AGSUs earlier this month, he said.

The Army is continuing to work through its distribution and production channels to ensure all recruiters are issued the uniform starting in November through April 2021.

“The Army prioritized recruiters and drill sergeants, because they serve as the face of the Army,” Lee said.

After a select group of recruiters were able to wear the uniform as part of a pilot, they indicated that the new uniform may help attract quality applicants. The uniform may also help inspire the next generation of leaders by connecting the “all-volunteer force” to its historical lineage, Lee said

Moving forward, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will supply the new uniform through a wave-based rollout approach, Lee said. The AGSU is currently available for purchase at the Fort Knox AAFES location.

The majority of AAFES locations within the U.S. are scheduled to have the new uniform by December. Stores in Alaska, Europe, Japan, and South Korea, along with National Guard and Reserve military clothing locations, should have a supply of uniforms by February 2021.

The mandatory wear date for all Soldiers is Oct. 1, 2027.

Active-duty enlisted Soldiers, including Active Guard and Reserve Soldiers, will continue to receive their annual clothing-replacement allowance to offset the new uniform’s cost, Lee said. Other Guard and Reserve Soldiers will begin receiving uniforms no later than the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021.

Everyday service uniform

The Army is currently the only service without an everyday business uniform, Lee said.

The current Army Service Uniform, commonly known as dress blues, was previously considered an optional purchase uniform prior to 2008, PEO Soldier officials said. Over time, leaders realized that the dress blues were too formal for everyday business use.

With the launch of the AGSU, Soldiers will now have an everyday service uniform, which will set an appropriate standard for professionalism within an office setting, Lee added.

Eventually, the Army will stop issuing the dress blues to all Soldiers. The uniform will continue to be optional and serve as a dress uniform for all Soldiers requiring a formal attire.

Limited user test, evaluation

As the Army delivers its new uniform, PEO Soldier will continue to conduct limited user testing and evaluations through May 2021, Lee said.

Early in the development process, the Army held an all-female uniform board that determined the design, components, features and fit of the female uniform. While both the male and female uniforms are similar, PEO Soldier officials said the female version allows for an elective skirt and shoe wear option.

In January, leaders held an additional uniform board to solidify minor changes to the uniform that were identified during ongoing user evaluations.

“Soldiers shared how the uniform is a better fit to their body,” when compared to the Army Service Uniform, Lee said. “In terms of comfort — we made changes through the limited user evaluation feedback process” to improve the Army Greens.

Feedback will continue to be solicited from a larger Army population, specifically from Soldiers who wear the uniform often. Through this process, program leads will shape future iterations of the ensemble to accommodate different body types or make improvements to the product’s longevity.

“We have teams that will receive feedback through Soldier touchpoints,” Lee said. “And given the current environment [with COVID-19], we will have to incorporate” other forms of communication.

“Soldiers are enjoying this new uniform and they are eager to go out and get it,” he added. “We can’t get it to them fast enough.”

By Devon Suits, Army News Service

US Army Leaders See Data as ‘Ammunition’ in Future Warfare

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

WASHINGTON — Every service member and platform will serve as a network sensor in future combat to expand what the Army undersecretary calls a “joint kill web” to support rapid decision making.

James E. McPherson and other Army leaders discussed Tuesday the role of “enabled joint overmatch” that describes how Soldiers will work alongside Airmen, Sailors and Marines to increase lethality across multiple domains.

“[The multi-domain force] has to be expeditionary and responsive at scale, bringing the right capabilities in the right place at the right time,” McPherson told a virtual audience during the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Army Signal Conference.

By enabling overmatch, the Army can quickly achieve lethality through all sensors, with the best shooter in the right command and control node, he added.

The undersecretary said the Army’s network, communication and cloud capabilities must provide quick delivery of data to augment the effort in preparation for the future battlefield that will be contested in all domains.

“What we build now must be survivable in that fight,” McPherson said. “It must be mobile, it must support, see on the move and … it must be tailorable.”

Protecting data will be critical, he added, as it will be the ammunition used for success on the battlefield. The Army’s information and intelligence assets will provide an advantage over adversaries, and therefore must be protected by migrating data to hybrid and multiple cloud ecosystems and bolstering the service’s network.

He noted that the Army’s other modernization priorities depend upon its network, which is one of the six priorities, to operate successfully.

Using simplified training that is accessible to each military branch will increase readiness and lethality, he added, while delivering mission-ready troops capable of fighting in the multi-domain environment.

Providing real-time access to every communications center, weapons system and control node will also allow greater control of the service’s data.

“Data, the ammunition of the future fight, is a strategic asset of the Army,” McPherson said. “Our data provides us a competitive advantage over adversaries. As with any strategic asset, we must manage and protect our data.”

Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s chief information officer and G-6, said that he and Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, head of Army Cyber Command, have partnered to posture the Army’s network to enable communications centers worldwide to gain a firmer grasp on data.

“It goes back to this idea that data is the ammunition in the future fight for any shooter or weapons platform, in any command and control node, in near real time, in order to create a joint kill chain,” Crawford said.

Real-time access will provide critical convergence that will help win below the level of armed conflict.

“That’s a monumental lift, and a monumental task,” Crawford said. “But that’s our goal.”

The Army will take its next steps in strengthening its networks and protecting its data to Fort Gordon, Georgia, where ARCYBER plans to move into its new headquarters this month. The move will better connect the three-star command with the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence.

The transition presents challenges as each unit member moving to Fort Gordon must undergo two weeks of quarantine to meet COVID-19 safety precautions, said Ron Pontius, deputy to the ARCYBER commanding general.

As of June 1, the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, now has full operational control of the Army’s five regional cyber centers as well as responsibility of the Army’s network.

Army Cyber Command transferred the responsibilities to NETCOM for greater efficiency and to balance risks to the network, said Col. Scott Bird, NETCOM defensive cyber operations chief, in a press release earlier this month.

The Army also recently announced to reassign its chief information officer role into two positions: CIO and G-6 deputy chief of staff. The change will be implemented by Aug. 31 to meet the demands of advancing technology and artificial intelligence.

Operating under pandemic conditions has also forced the Army to adapt how it does business. Crawford estimated about 2% of the Army accessed the virtual space to telework from home. That number jumped to about 90% during the pandemic.

Crawford said up to 400,000 Soldiers and Army civilians have signed up for the Microsoft Teams workplace platform and that number continues to grow.

By Joseph Lacdan, Army News Service

GAO Report – Military Parachutes: Observations on Army and Marine Corps Acquisition Programs

Monday, July 20th, 2020

The House Armed Services Committee directed the Government Accounting Office to review the Army and Marine Corps’ procurement of free fall parachutes.

Their report examines the acquisition strategies used by the Army and Marine Corps for their parachute programs and the extent to which the Army and Marine Corps programs are meeting their cost, schedule, and performance goals.

The Army awarded its contract for the Advanced Ram Air Parachute System—known as the RA-1—in 2011. The Marine Corps awarded its contract for the Enhanced-Multi Mission Parachute System—now called the PS-2—in 2018.

GAO found that both programs are on cost and schedule.

Download your copy here.

Army Futures Command Announces ‘Software Factory’ in Austin

Monday, July 20th, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas – U.S. Army Futures Command announced the establishment of the first Soldier-led Software Factory today.

The Austin-based Software Factory is a first-of-its-kind concept for the Army that will leverage a train-with-industry pipeline to empower Soldiers and Civilians to scope and solve problems with modern software practices.

This new capability will allow units to act faster and mitigate unforeseen risk inherent in multi-domain operations. It will teach Soldiers and Civilians how to solve Army problems with cloud technology and modern software, and to better prepare Soldiers for disconnected warfare in 2028 and beyond.

“The capability to develop software at the lowest tactical levels will help us provide better software products,” said Gen. John M. Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command. “We anticipate long-term cost savings and expect the Software Factory to help us maintain a competitive advantage across Army modernization efforts.”

This new software factory complements the Army’s digital talent initiative based at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn. Army professionals will attend data science and engineering graduate programs, and 12 Soldiers will attend a boot-camp-style fellowship for cloud technicians to help solve Army problems through agile and secure software development processes.

“All of these efforts will develop and sustain the digital talent the Army needs for the future,” Murray said. “The CMU-trained engineers will build the data environment the Army needs. The technicians will maintain that environment. And the Software Factory will develop the skills to operate in that environment.”

By Army Futures Command