Australia may purchase five nuclear submarines from the US as part of the AUKUS agreement, and Australia and the UK may potentially work together to create a ship.
According to four US officials, Australia is anticipated to announce its intention to purchase as many as five US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines in the 2030s as part of a historic Pacific security agreement with the US and the UK.
According to the so-called AUKUS agreement, at least one US submarine will travel to Australian ports in the next years, and by the late 2030s, a new class of submarines would be constructed using US and UK designs. One of the officials made this statement to the news agency Reuters.
The next steps for AUKUS will be discussed when Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego on Monday.
Collaboration on hypersonic missiles, artificial intelligence, and cyberwarfare are also anticipated under the Pacific Security Pact, which was initially announced in September 2021. is condemned by Beijing and is seen as an effort to offset China’s rising might and assertive attitude in the region.
Under the condition of anonymity, two of the officials stated that by around 2027, the US would deploy some submarines in Western Australia following the yearly port visits.
Australia would purchase three Virginia-class submarines in the early 2030s with the option to purchase two more. Nuclear submarines are more difficult to detect than conventional ones and can submerge for longer periods of time.
In the meantime, the UK had “succeeded in its effort to sell British-designed nuclear submarines to Australia,” according to a report published on Wednesday in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, and Sunak was “buzzing about it” when he notified ministers.
As Australia and the UK collaborated to develop a design for a next-generation submarine from the existing Astute class vessel, it was claimed that the Virginia-class submarines from the US would serve as a “stop-gap” and that it might not be available until the 2040s. Australia would purchase British submarines, according to The Times.
According to a Sunak spokeswoman in London, the British government is also scheduled to release an update to its so-called “Integrated Review” of security, defense, and foreign policy on Monday.
The service life of Australia’s present fleet of six Collins-class submarines, which are powered by conventional engines, will be extended to 2036.
Some of Australia’s regional allies, like Indonesia and Malaysia, are worried that the AUKUS decision could spark an Indo-Pacific nuclear arms race. Australia’s defense minister made an effort to reassure them on Thursday.
The primary purpose of this capability, according to Defence Minister Richard Marles, is to ensure the stability and peace of our region. “Obviously, these submarines will be able to operate in a combat environment.
The US and UK committed to give Australia the technology and capacity to deploy nuclear-powered submarines as part of the original AUKUS agreement.
If America supplies Australia with submarines, it will mark the first export of nuclear submarine technologies since the 1960s, when America assisted Britain in developing its submarine fleet.