By Jeffrey Dastin
(Reuters) – Palantir Technologies Inc has signed a three-year, 75 million pound ($91.39 million) deal with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, the U.S. software company said Wednesday, expanding its overseas military work months into the Ukraine war, Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II.
Palantir will aid military operations and intelligence, further widening access to its software across the defense ministry after a narrower pilot with the Royal Navy that started years ago.
Palantir’s software will prompt armed forces about possible real-time actions and provide predictions on how various choices might play out, the company said.
The news reflects how U.S. and European allies are looking to technology for an edge in warfare, at a time when new systems have aided Ukraine in its reversal of Russia’s march toward Kyiv.
Abundant satellite imagery lets military analysts in little time detect changes on the battlefield, with artificial intelligence software identifying tanks, artillery or other targets.
Despite the war, Palantir shares have tumbled like other tech stocks this year, falling by about half since March.
British privacy groups have scrutinized Palantir’s business with the National Health Service the past couple of years over concerns that the government could gain new surveillance powers.
Palantir bills its tools as ways to determine which resources to deploy, faster. Its software can aggregate intelligence from satellites and social media, visualize an army’s positions, flag an enemy vessel on the move or render byzantine data files easier to query, according to demonstrations of its systems.
The U.S. military this year talked about a Palantir-powered program called Army Vantage, which one of the tech company’s employees said in a LinkedIn post was impacting the U.S. response to Russia’s war.
Palantir also opened an office in Ukraine after its Chief Executive Alex Karp became the first head of any global business to meet Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy following Russia’s invasion.
($1 = 0.8207 pounds)
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Josie Kao)