Details of AUKUS nuclear subdeal revealed – RT World News
Australia continued its controversial military partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom, agreeing to buy up to five nuclear-powered submarines from Washington and starting work on developing a new generation of submarines. -sailors with Great Britain.
The initial deal includes the purchase of three Virginia-class submarines from the United States, for delivery in the early 2030s, and an option to purchase two more ships, the leaders of the three countries announced Monday at a meeting. of a meeting in San Diego. Plans also include developing new submarines, called SSN-AUKUS, which will be built in the UK and Australia with US technology and support.
Speaking at Naval Station Point Loma in San Diego, President Joe Biden said the three allies were at “an inflection point in history, where hard work building deterrence and promoting stability will affect the prospect of peace for decades to come.” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called the deal submarine “the largest single investment in Australia’s defense capability in our history.”
Chinese officials have argued that the AUKUS company violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) because it involves the transfer of nuclear technology to a non-nuclear-weapon state.
US-built submarines are fueled with weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, but Australia’s Foreign Office has argued that since the ships won’t be nuclear-armed, they won’t break the pledge country’s anti-proliferation. “Naval nuclear propulsion is not prohibited – but is in fact contemplated – by the NPT.”
Australia has sought to upgrade its naval fleet amid concerns over China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific. The country torpedoed a $66 billion deal to buy conventionally powered French submarines when the secretly negotiated AUKUS partnership launched in 2021, opting for the superior stealthiness of nuclear-powered submarines.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the partnership reflected growing geopolitical challenges, “including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, China’s growing assertiveness, and the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea.” In addition to submarines, AUKUS includes cooperation on artificial intelligence, hypersonic weapons and other advanced defense technologies.
The submarine deal marks only the second time in US history – and the first time in 65 years – that Washington has shared its nuclear propulsion technology with another country.
Beijing has accused AUKUS partners of undermining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region by operating under a “Cold War Mentality.”
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