Microsoft and other defense firms are teaming up for modeling work

In recent months, Microsoft has partnered with BAE Systems and other firms to award DoD contracts for gaming, exercise, modeling and simulation, or GEMS. blog post released by the company on Tuesday.

Wes Anderson, Microsoft Federal’s vice president of defense, said in a blog post that the company and its partners are using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and services to advance GEMS capabilities.

“Repeatable, repeatable simulations reduce cold starts and help national security planners quickly run and adjust simulations as global circumstances change,” Anderson wrote.

The Department of Defense views more advanced GEMS capabilities as an important component of sustaining a modern military force. A Report for January 2021 on GEMS, the Defense Science Board noted that “increased use of GEMS will be necessary to ensure that the Department of Defense can meet future challenges” when it comes to “systems development, acquisition, training, deterrence, and warfighting.”

And the Department of Defense’s ability to conduct more accurate models and simulations also plays an important role in the Pentagon’s ability to anticipate and adequately prepare for future threats. Ministry of Defense Nuclear Situation Review 2022— the public version released on Oct. 27 specifically notes that “intelligence analysis, simulations and war games, red teaming and other tools offer U.S. leaders actionable information that helps reduce” the risk of nuclear escalation and miscalculation.

Given the DoD’s growing need to expand its GEMS capabilities, Microsoft has placed greater emphasis in recent months on collaboration with firms and institutions working to develop and support modeling and simulation technologies for the defense sector. This collaboration has focused primarily on companies using Microsoft Azure to support platforms and new technologies that are seen as critical to the next generation of warfare.

BAE Systems announced on Tuesday that it will use Microsoft Azure to host its Pioneer wargaming platform, which it described as “a system of systems that enables multi-domain wargaming operations, including land, air, sea, space and cyber.” So did London-based cloud computing startup Hadean on the same day announced that it will work to integrate its “metaverse infrastructure” with Microsoft Azure to “create fit-for-purpose and robust solutions that can rapidly process data and deliver impactful results for customers in government agencies, defense contractors and the military.”

Double announcements followed a similar from virtual and augmented reality company VRAI on Monday that they will also use Microsoft Azure to “bring next-generation simulation capabilities to military end users.”

So did Microsoft earlier this month announced an agreement with Lockheed Martin to work on four critical technology areas related to GEMS for the Department of Defense, including classified cloud innovations; artificial intelligence/machine learning and modeling capabilities; 5G.MIL technologies; and digital transformation efforts.

Anderson said the strategic partnership with Lockheed Martin will allow the company to “build on Microsoft GEMS technology and Azure capabilities, allowing Lockheed Martin and its customers to test military platforms and technologies that enable joint all-domain operations on a digital platform.”

Although Microsoft has recently prioritized partnerships with other defense companies, they used to announced collaboration with the Naval Postgraduate School in May to conduct research on ways to bring new technologies to the Navy. This ongoing work includes exploring “ways in which the Navy and Marine Corps can use games, exercises, simulations and simulations to help operational commanders make faster and better decisions.”​​​​

News of Microsoft’s recent partnerships with BAE Systems, Hadean and VRAI emerged during the company’s participation in the Interdisciplinary Conference on Learning, Modeling, and Education in Orlando, Florida, which organizers have described as “the world’s largest modeling, modeling and learning event.” Microsoft and other defense firms are teaming up for modeling work

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