Virgin Orbit and Arqit Expand Launch Agreements Ahead of Merger Vote

Virgin Orbit and Arqit Quantum announce an extension to their collaboration that will accelerate space-based encryption services to private, defense, and intelligence customers globally.

  • Arqit has contracted exclusively with Virgin Orbit for Arqit’s launch needs for up to 5 launches from Spaceport Cornwall beginning in 2023.
  • Virgin Orbit has acquired a quantum cloud encryption license from Arqit to provide encryption protection for its launch and space solutions businesses.
  • The two companies have previously announced a $5 million investment from Virgin Orbit into Arqit’s SPAC.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit, the responsive launch and space solutions company that has announced a planned business combination with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II (“NextGen”) (NASDAQ: NGCA), has signed a new launch contract covering two dedicated launches for Arqit Quantum, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQQ), a global leader in quantum encryption technology, plus additional commitments. The two Arqit satellites delivered to Earth orbit by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne air-launched system will be the core component of Arqit’s Platform-as-a-Service, delivering the root source of randomness to all Arqit data centres using Arqit’s ground breaking Quantum protocol ARQ19.

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Arqit and Northrop Grumman in the UK Sign Quantum Encryption Collaboration Agreement

LONDON (Arqit PR) — Arqit, the quantum encryption company, has signed a collaboration agreement with Northrop Grumman in the UK. Through the collaboration, Arqit, which is developing end-to-end quantum encryption using satellite distribution, will work with Northrop Grumman to develop and understand this novel technology for potential use in defence and national security settings.

The collaboration work programme has already begun in order to assess technological possibilities. The next phase of the collaboration agreement is to assess technical performance on project applications, to be agreed to as early as next month.

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International Partners and Government Agencies Join Arqit’s Federated Quantum System

The Federated Quantum System developed and launched in the UK with support from the UK Space Agency

CORNWALL, UK, 11 June 2021 (Arqit PR) – Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a leader in quantum encryption technology, has today announced at the G7 Leaders Conference in Cornwall, that it has formed an international consortium of companies and government organisations to provide its quantum encryption technology to government customers in a federated system concept, called Federated Quantum System (FQS). The UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium, and Austria are now represented.

Arqit invented a system which uses satellites to distribute quantum keys to data centres. These keys are delivered using a new patented protocol called ARQ19, which solves the “Global versus Trustless” problem which previously prevented the adoption of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Arqit further invented a method, called QuantumCloud™ to translate the benefits of this quantum key distribution to any form of endpoint or cloud machine without the need for any special hardware. The first version of QuantumCloudTM launches for live service to commercial customers in 2021.

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Quantum Communication in Space Moves Ahead in Europe

Artists impression of QKDSat. (Credit: Qinetiq)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Keeping information secure in today’s interconnected world is becoming ever more important, so ESA is supporting efforts to ensure that future communications are kept confidential.

A new generation of supercomputing power, delivered by quantum computers, is currently being developed that will be almost unimaginably powerful at cracking the most complex problems upon which encryption is based.

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Centricus Acquisition Corp. to Combine with Arqit Limited, a Leader in Quantum Encryption Technology

  • Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a leader in quantum encryption technology, has entered into a definitive agreement to combine with Centricus Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: CENH, CENHW, CENHU) (“Centricus”), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company.
  • Arqit has pioneered a unique quantum encryption technology, QuantumCloud™, which makes the communications links of any networked device secure against current and future forms of hacking – even an attack from a quantum computer.
  • The transaction with Centricus is expected to provide up to $400 million of gross proceeds to Arqit (assuming minimal redemption from existing Centricus shareholders). This includes funds from a fully committed PIPE of approximately $70 million with participation from Arqit business partners Virgin Orbit and Sumitomo Corporation, and Centricus sponsor Heritage Group.
  • Pro forma equity value of the business combination is approximately $1.4 billion, and pro forma enterprise value is approximately $1.0 billion at the PIPE price of $10.00 per share, assuming minimal redemption from existing Centricus shareholders.
  • This transaction will accelerate the next stages of Arqit’s business plan, including the mass commercialization of its products and the launch of two satellites, which is targeted for 2023.
  • Investor webcast and call is scheduled for May 12, 2021, at 9:00 AM EST / 2:00 PM BST.

NEW YORK and LONDON (Centricus/Arqit PR) — Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a leader in quantum encryption technology and Centricus Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: CENH) (Nasdaq: CENHW) (Nasdaq: CENHU) (“Centricus”), a special purpose acquisition company, have entered into a definitive agreement that would result in Arqit becoming a publicly listed company (the “Business Combination Agreement”). Upon closing of the transaction, a newly formed Cayman holding company, Arqit Quantum Inc., will merge with Centricus, acquire Arqit and register its shares  for listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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Virgin Orbit to Launch Quantum Encryption Satellites for Arqit

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit, the California-based responsive launch company, today announced it has been selected by UK-based Arqit Limited, a leader in quantum encryption technology, to conduct two launches to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) beginning in 2023.

Arqit has pioneered a unique quantum encryption technology, QuantumCloud™, which makes the communications links of any networked device secure against current and future forms of hacking — even an attack from a quantum computer. Currently, Arqit’s system delivers an unlimited number of encryption keys using terrestrial communications systems, but by incorporating satellites, Arqit can further enhance the system.

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UK Moves to Become Bigger Player in ESA

LONDON (UKSA PR) — Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts is about to negotiate the UK’s commitment to individual space programmes at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ministerial Council – a two-day meeting that takes place every four years to reach key decisions on European space programmes and activities for the future.

Following a commitment by the Government of an extra £60 million [$95.45 million] for the UK Space Agency to invest in ESA’s programmes, the UK will be in an excellent position to negotiate strong leadership roles within various projects and has already secured the future of the European Space Agency (ESA) facility in Oxfordshire, including transferring ESA’s telecoms satellite headquarters to the UK and creating over 100 new high-tech jobs.

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