Australia to buy nuclear submarines under AUKUS deal

Australia will announce the purchase of nuclear submarines during a meeting in California with the US and the UK. (REUTERS) (Igor Russak/)

Australia confirmed this Thursday that it will announce the details of the purchase of nuclear submarinesas part of AUKUS security pact with USA and United Kingdomduring a meeting of the leaders of the three countries on Monday, March 13 in the North American country.

At the meeting, which will take place in the US city of San Diegoit will be revealed “the optimal route by which Australia to acquire nuclear submarines”, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Richard Marles.

In this way, “a 18 month process under the banner of AUKUS” (for the acronym in English of the three members), the security pact signed by Canberra, London and Washington in September 2022, which included the purchase of these nuclear powered submersiblesas part of efforts to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

But neither Marles nor the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese-who is in India before traveling to the United States- have given details about this acquisition.

“I will make comments at the appropriate time,” said Albanese, while confirming that there will be an “announcement” together with their American counterparts, Joe Bidenand british, Rishi Sunak.

At the meeting, which will take place in the US city of San Diego,
At the meeting, which will take place in the US city of San Diego, “the optimal path by which Australia will acquire nuclear submarines” will be announced, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles said Thursday in Parliament. (REUTERS) (RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY /)

Experts on the subject and various media have speculated about the manufacture of these submarines, which will make Australia the seventh country with the capacity to operate a nuclear-powered submarine, at a cost of around AU$100 billion (65.880 million US dollars).

The newspaper The Australian published Thursday that leaks from both sides of the Atlantic suggest that Australia to buy both US and British-designed submarines.

Meanwhile, the daily Sydney Morning Herald noted that Australia will first acquire five nuclear submarines of the class Virginia Americans, and in the long term it will add submersibles based on a new British design, which – according to the Australian public broadcaster abc– will be assembled in the oceanic country and will have american technology.

The development of nuclear submarines in Australia involved the cancellation of a contract with the French shipping company Naval for the development of conventional submersibles for a value of 55,000 million eurosas well as tensions between Canberra and Paris and a compensation payment of 555 million euros.

Sources on both sides of the Atlantic suggest that Australia will buy both the US and British-designed submarines. (DEF file)

Nuclear submarines are difficult to detect, can travel long distances for long periods of time, and would be armed with advanced cruise missiles.

That makes them a deterrent to potential enemies, experts say, allowing Australia to launch attacks or counter-attacks into enemy territory without warning.

Beijing has voiced strong opposition to the project, which it calls “dangerous” and designed to drive China into a corner.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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