Australia signs submarine deal with U.S., U.K.

Australia signed a submarine deal with new defence alliances, namely United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) on November 22, 2021.

Key Points

  • The deal seeks to equip Australian Navy with nuclear-powered submarines.
  • The deal was signed by Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton with U.S. and British diplomats.
  • This deal allows the exchange of sensitive “naval nuclear propulsion information” between three countries.
  • It is the first agreement on technology to be publicly signed.

About the deal

  • The deal will help Australia to do an 18-month study into submarine procurement. Details of the procurement has not yet decided, including whether Australia will opt for a vessel based on British or U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarines.
  • With access to the information delivered under the deal, Australia will be positioned to be reliable and responsible stewards of the naval nuclear-powered technology.

Defence Alliance

Australia, UK and US had announced the formation of a new defence alliance between them, called AUKUS. It was created to confront strategic tensions in the Pacific Ocean, where China-US rivalry is increasing.

About AUKUS alliance

This is a trilateral security partnership for Indo-Pacific between Australia, UK and US (AUKUS). Major highlight of the agreement is sharing of US nuclear submarine technology to Australia. The grouping focuses on advancing strategic interests in Indo-Pacific region, making it an alliance against assertive actions of China in South China Sea. Under this initiative, Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines with the help of UK and US.

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