Australia, US and UK to form AUUKUS under new nuclear submarine defense agreement
Scott Morrison will announce that the Australian submarine program will “go nuclear” under a new defense agreement that could herald bad news for China.
Scott Morrison is set to announce that Australia’s submarine program will “go nuclear” under a new defense pact with the US and UK that has been described as China’s “worst nightmare”.
The new group, which will be known as AUUKUS, will advise Australia on how to determine the best way to acquire nuclear-powered submarine capability and share advanced technologies involving artificial intelligence.
based in the United States Politico The website reports that President Joe Biden will announce a new working group with Britain and Australia to share advanced technologies to counter China at 7 AM EST.
“The trio, which will be known by the acronym AUUKUS, will make it easier for countries to share information and knowledge in key technological areas such as artificial intelligence, electronic systems, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities,” it states.
There will be a “nuclear component of the agreement in which the US and UK will share their knowledge of how to maintain nuclear defense infrastructure”.
Senior ministers were rushing back to Canberra on Wednesday evening for national security meetings ahead of the important announcement.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese and several Labor MPs were also briefed with Defense Secretary Peter Dutton and Foreign Affairs Secretary Marise Payne, who are abroad, who have requested to attend the meetings.
Diplomatic and defense sources indicate that the order could include operating US HMAS Stirling-class submarines in Perth.
But there has also been speculation that the British government could be involved in supporting Australia to secure the technology needed to service the nuclear submarines.
Australia’s proposal to tear up existing contracts for French submarines and buy US nuclear technology had previously been described as “China’s worst nightmare” in the region – which could “upend the military balance in Asia”.
In June, the prime minister held discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron about growing concerns about the $90 billion project that will not deliver submarines until 2030.
The Australian Naval Institute recently touted the option as the best “Plan B” for Australia’s troubled submarine programme.
“With regional tensions rising, building our own submarines that will arrive in the early 1930s is not good enough. We have no guarantee that they will work,” the article stated.
“When we built Collins-class submarines (at great cost) they didn’t work properly for several years. Only now – after decades of operation – are they working reasonably well.
Submarines are the ultimate weapon of deterrence and attack: hopefully, their location is unknown, and they can hit targets without warning. But we need to expand beyond the capabilities of the Collins, as well as the French attack boats that we must abandon.
Instead, we should buy 12 proven designs that are already in the water. We want long range fishing vessels. We also want them to be able to stay submerged for long periods of time to avoid being detected. Nuclear does this in spades.”
The prime minister is scheduled to travel to Washington next week for talks with the US president. He had recently been commuting between Sydney and Canberra for national security meetings that his office said could not be conducted remotely.