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Incredible 'unhackable' British plane in first flight as UK becomes quantum global leader


An incredible “unhackable” British plane has completed a successful test flight in a world first, helping to cement the UK as a global leader in quantum technology.

Jamming of GPS navigation systems in planes is becoming an ever-growing security concern for Western countries since Putin invaded Ukraine.

Current navigation systems are reliant on satellites to help pinpoint their positions.

Unfortunately, these systems can easily be hacked by malign actors seeking to cause disruption and chaos.

The UK’s Defence Secretary Grant Shapps had a narrow escape recently after the navigation system of his RAF plane was allegedly tampered with by Russia.

The effects of intermittent jamming by Russian electronic warfare equipment have also been felt from northern Norway to southern Poland.

Several airlines have reported disruptions affecting their operations in the Baltic area, mainly Ryanair (2,300 flights), Wizz Air (1,400) and British Airways (82).

However, quantum is a self-contained system that can navigate without relying on any external infrastructure.

Such a system was installed in a Qinetiq Avro RJ100 commercial plane and operated successfully for the first time ever in a test flight at Boscombe Down.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said: “From passenger flights to shipping, we all depend on navigation systems that are accurate, safe and secure.

“The scientific research we are supporting here could well provide the resilience to protect our interests.

“The fact that this technology has flown for the first time in British skies, is further proof of the UK as one of the world leaders on quantum.”

Quantum navigation, unlike GPS, is able to determine speed and duration – and therefore position – by harnessing the properties of ultracold atoms.

Scientists have been working for years to make the theory a workable reality through the development of new technologies.

Led by Infleqtion and in collaboration with industry and academic partners, this project has received backing of nearly £8million from the government.

This funding, together with the £2.5billion National Quantum Strategy and the National Quantum Technologies Programme, aims to cement the UK’s position as a leading quantum-enabled economy.

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