The first initiative of the Australia-UK-US Trilateral Security Partnership (AUKUS) will be Australia's acquisition of nuclear submarine technology, drawing on years of US and UK experience. This is stated in the joint Statement to the media by the Prime Minister, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women's Affairs of Australia.
At the same time, Australia does not plan to acquire nuclear weapons, the innovations will affect only the engines of submarines. The government intends to build nuclear submarines in South Australia with the maximum use of Australian workers.
“Building submarines in Australia is the best way to create a strong and efficient life support industry that will allow us to meet all the requirements for the safe operation and maintenance of nuclear submarines,” the document says.
A new military alliance will be costly to build for France, which will lose a major $ 56 billion defense contract to build submarines for Australia.
“Australia will no longer continue the Attack class conventional submarine program with the Naval Group. The government would like to thank the Attack class submarine personnel, the naval group, the French government and Lockheed Martin Australia for their efforts to date. However, accelerating changes in regional security make conventional submarines unsuitable for our operational needs in the coming decades, ”the ministers said.
Australia in 2017 announced a contract with the French shipbuilding company Naval Group for 12 submarines worth AU $ 90 billion (roughly US $ 66 billion). This is the largest defense contract in the country's history.
Recall that the USA, Great Britain and Australia announced on September 15 the creation of the AUKUS defense alliance. Countries assure that partnerships are not directed against other countries. Initial efforts under AUKUS will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and complementary underwater capabilities.