The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia promote the AUKUS alliance to counter the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, at the Point Loma Naval Base, in San Diego, California (REUTERS / Leah Millis) (LEAH MILLIS /)

The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom have announced on Monday a military and industrial agreement that includes the sale of between three and five US nuclear submarines to Canberra and a program to build a new type of submarine for the British and Australian navies using American technology, with the aim of countering the Chinese regime’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.

The American President, Joe Bidenhas met in San Diego, California, with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunakand the Australian ‘premier’, Anthony Albaneseto announce this historic agreement that includes joint submarine patrols in the Pacific.

Biden stressed that this agreement “attests to the ancient ties” between the three countries and has underlined his “commitment” to a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

“I want to make it clear to the whole world from the beginning that these submarines are not nuclear-armed, they have a nuclear engine. Australia is a state that is proud to be nuclear-free and wants to stay that way,” Biden added.

For his part, Albanese indicated that “AUKUS is our way of facing the future” and recalled the “common tradition of service to the cause of peace and sacrifice in the name of freedom.” “We respect and pay homage to our past and with the AUKUS we look to the future.” And he added: “It is the largest single investment in Australia’s defense capability in our entire history.”

Under the deal, Australia will purchase three US Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s, with an option to purchase two more if necessary, the US national security adviser told reporters. Jake Sullivanon the way to San Diego.

The project will culminate in the British and Australian production and operation of a new class of submarines – SSN-AUKUS – built in Britain and Australia to a British design, using Virginia-class technology, another senior US official said.

“The first British submarines built to this design will be delivered in the late 2030s. (…) and the first Australian submarines will follow in the early 2040s,” a British statement said.

Under the deal, US and UK submarines will also be deployed to Western Australia to help train Australian crews and bolster deterrence.

Virginia-class Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) attack submarine John Warner (SSN 785) is moved into Newport News Shipbuilding's floating drydock in preparation (US Navy/John Whalen/Huntington Ingalls Industries/Handout via REUTERS)
Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) is moved to the Newport News Shipbuilding floating drydock in preparation (US Navy/John Whalen/Huntington Ingalls Industries/Handout via REUTERS) (HANDOUT/)

The US goal is to start these rotating deployments with a single submarine starting in 2027 and, within a few years, increase the number to four US and one British submarines, he explained.

The first phase of the plan is already underway with Virginiaa nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarine, currently visiting Perth, Australia, officials said.

AUKUS will be the first time Washington has shared nuclear-powered technology since it did with Britain in the 1950s. China has condemned AUKUS as an illegal act of nuclear proliferation.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marlessaid last week before the Canberra Parliament that the submarines, whose missions will depend on Australian interests, have the potential to operate in a war, although their “real intention” is to maintain peace and stability in this region where they are looks with fear at the growing influence of China.

These submarines – which will operate with Australian, British and American crews – represent “a serious risk of nuclear proliferation” for China, according to a spokeswoman for the Asian giant’s Foreign Ministry, who urged members of the AUKUS to abandon their mission. “Cold War mentality”.

At the time, the announcement sparked a diplomatic crisis between Australia and France because it involved the cancellation of a contract with French shipping company Naval for the development of conventional submersibles for Canberra.

The new submarines will allow Australia to enter, from the next decade, the club of nations with nuclear-powered submersibles, which includes the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and India.

(With information from Reuters and EFE)

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