Australia signs its agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom

It is the first agreement signed and made public since the three countries announced in September their new defense alliance, called AUKUS, to address growing strategic tensions between the United States and China in the Pacific.

Australia officially embarked on a highly controversial program on Monday to equip itself with nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new defense alliance with Britain and the United States.

Defense Secretary Peter Dutton has signed an agreement with British and US diplomats allowing the exchange of “Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information” between their countries.

It is the first agreement signed and made public since the three countries announced in September their new defense alliance, called AUKUS, to address growing strategic tensions between the United States and China in the Pacific.

persistent scramble

This alliance was accompanied by Australia’s cancellation of a mega-contract to purchase twelve French conventionally powered submarines worth 90 billion Australian dollars (55 billion euros), creating a lasting estrangement between Paris and Canberra.

The deal will help Australia complete an 18-month investigation into the purchase of submarines, Mr Dutton said after the deal was signed in Canberra on Monday with US Chargé d’affaires Michael Goldman and Britain’s top Commissioner for Australia, Victoria Treadell.

Details of the acquisition are yet to be decided, including whether Australia will opt for US or UK nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Sharing information

“With the access to information provided by this agreement, along with the decades of experience of our UK and US partners in nuclear-powered submarines, Australia will also be able to provide responsible stewardship and reliability of this technology.” to be,” Dutton said in a statement.

Before the signing ceremony, US President Joe Biden said in a memorandum endorsing the deal that it would improve the “mutual defense posture” of the three countries.

Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia will acquire eight state-of-the-art nuclear-powered submarines capable of long-range stealth missions. It also provides for the sharing of unspecified cybernetic, artificial intelligence, quantum and submarine capabilities.

The alliance has angered China, describing it as an “extremely irresponsible” threat to regional stability.

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