The first move under this partnership, called “AUKUS,” would be for the United States and the UK to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, according to a joint statement by the three governments.
The new security alliance was announced by President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a joint virtual press conference from each of their capitals.
“We all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term,” Biden said.
Morrison said the submarines would be built in the city of Adelaide in close cooperation with the United States and the UK, and stressed that Australia will not be fielding nuclear weapons.
“We will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations,” he said.
Johnson called it a momentous decision for Australia to acquire the technology, adding that it would make the world safer. The three countries will now commence an 18-month consultation period to hash out the details of the development project, the joint statement said.
The alliance is also set to enhance information sharing in key technologies between the three countries.
“AUKUS will bring together our sailors, our scientists, and our industries to maintain and expand our edge in military capabilities and critical technologies, such as cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and undersea domains,” Biden said.
By Cathy He