Sunday, March 26, 2023

Australia: Australia will buy nuclear powered submarines made in America – Usky News



Washington: Australia China will purchase US-built, nuclear-powered attack submarines to modernize its fleet, a European official and a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday, amid growing concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The purchase agreement for the Virginia-class submarines will be announced on Monday when President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Meet in San Diego for talks on the 18-month-old nuclear partnership, known by its acronym AUKUS. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the announcement.
AUKUS agreement announced in 2021 paves the way for Australia to gain access nuclear powered submarineswhich are stealthier and more capable than conventionally powered boats.
Biden said at the time of the partnership announcement in September 2021, “We all recognize the imperative to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region over the long term.” “We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve.”
The secretly brokered deal included the Australian government’s cancellation of a US$66 billion contract for a French-built fleet of conventional submarines, sparking a diplomatic row within the Western alliance that has taken years to recover. It took months.
The European official said that France has been informed of the terms of the purchase agreement. Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, the White House said, adding that they “discussed cooperation between the United States and France in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The submarines costing US$3 billion each are built at shipbuilding plants in Virginia and Connecticut. Under the terms of the agreement, the sub will eventually also be built in the UK and Australia with US technology and support, said a person familiar with the matter. Initial plans for all sub-schemes to be built in Adelaide, Australia.
The US will also conduct a port visit to Australia to familiarize the country more with nuclear-powered technology.
The White House declined to comment on the submarine purchase ahead of a planned meeting on Monday. (AP)

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