AUKUS — new military alliance to deal with China’s expansion in the Indo-Pacific
Ahead of the QUAD leaders’ summit in Washington DC next week to counter China on Thursday, September 16, 2021, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) announced a defense and security partnership.
As part of this new military alliance, the first initiative will be a collaboration on future nuclear powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. This means that the contract that Australia had for the construction of submarines with the French company has been canceled. Nuclear-powered submarines are expected to contribute to stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Once the nuclear-powered submarine project is completed, Australia will become the 7th country in the world to own such submarines.
According to reports, the Australian side has canceled an agreement estimated at A $ 90 ($ 66 billion) with the French company Naval Group. The two sides signed an agreement for 12 nuclear-powered submarines in 2016.
The French naval group is building six “Scorpene” class submarines for the Indian Navy as part of the technology transfer to the MDL shipyard based in Mumbai.
The three countries will play a very important role in the Indo-Pacific region and ensure a peaceful and rules-based international order. And, this new partnership between the three countries will strengthen the Integrated Review’s commitment to strengthen alliances with like-minded allies and deepen ties in the Indo-Pacific.
What did UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson say about AUKUS?
Calling them natural allies, according to an official statement issued by the UK government on this new military alliance, the UK Prime Minister said: “To defend our interests in the Indo-Pacific region and protect our people, this partnership will become very important. “
The UK and UK are already members of NATO, and now that a new military alliance has been announced, they will work together to address emerging threats in the region.
As previously reported, the UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier has been deployed to the Indo-Pacific region alongside personnel and equipment from the United States. It has engaged with 40 countries, including India, and the main objective of this engagement is to strengthen interoperability with like-minded partners.
What is AUKUS?
Within the framework of the “AUKUS” alliance, the three partners will jointly increase the development of common capacities and the sharing of technologies. And the will to ensure the safety of all and to ensure that our people are safe from harm and support common goals.
The aim of AUKUS will be to integrate all science, supply chains, industrial bases and technology related to defense and security.
The three countries already share a lot of information through the Five Eyes Alliance.
British and nuclear powered submarines
The country has had expertise in building and operating nuclear-powered submarines for more than six decades. The Royal Australian submarines project will provide expertise through work carried out by Rolls Royce located near Derby and UK based BAE Systems in Barrow.
And will involve highly qualified scientists and engineers will be involved in design and construction roles across the UK. And will also attract investment in some high-tech sectors.
The submarine project will involve all three countries and the focus will be on interoperability, community and mutual benefit.
UK and Australia links
The Royal Australian Navy procures up to 9 of the British Type 26 frigates from the United Kingdom. In addition, the military of the two countries, including the Royal Gurkha Rifles, undertook joint training exercises.
A joint statement released by the three countries said that under AUKUS, initial efforts will focus on artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, cyber capabilities and additional underwater capabilities.
Does India have nuclear powered submarines?
Not yet. There are plans awaiting Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval for six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). These are expected to be built locally and are expected to cost around Rs 96,000 crore.
According to sources, the Australian Defense Minister called his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh to inform him of the new alliance.