“The AUKUS alliance.” Behind this name hides an unprecedented military program, unveiled on Monday. In charge: the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The three countries have decided to join forces to launch a vast project, in particular to build a new state-of-the-art submarine.
The US President, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are meeting at a naval base in San Diego to formalize this project. The latter had enraged France when it was announced eighteen months ago. The details revealed on Monday by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan make it easier to understand why the rag had burned between Paris and Canberra, as the project is ambitious.
Nuclear-powered and conventionally-armed devices
The program will take place in three phases. First of all, a phase of familiarization of Australia – which has no nuclear-powered submarines, nor nuclear technology, whether military or civil – with these machines, via the “training of sailors, engineers , technicians,” Jake Sullivan said. He said the aim was to have American and British submarine ” deployments ” in Australia during the decade . In a second step, Australia will buy three American nuclear-powered submarines of the “Virginia” class, with an option on two additional submersible vessels. The submarines must be delivered from 2030.
But above all, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom will join forces for a new generation of submarines, called SSN-AUKUS. These devices, nuclear-powered and conventionally armed, will involve ” significant investments” in the three countries, said Jack Sullivan. They will be delivered from the late 2030s and early 2040s, a senior White House official said.
The announcements made Thursday do not give a precise figure or breakdown of the costs, in particular with regard to the sum which Australia will have to pay. However, nuclear-powered submarines are known to be difficult to detect, can travel great distances for long periods of time, and can carry sophisticated cruise missiles. This program represents for the United States “a commitment over decades, and perhaps even a century”, said the adviser. The objective, he assured, is not ” to go to war ” but ” to deter all conflict”.
Asked repeatedly about criticism of China, he assured that Washington had already raised the subject directly with Beijing, and took no one by surprise. “We are very calm about the way we have designed the AUKUS alliance “, assured Jake Sullivan, for whom the goal of the United States is to ensure “peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”.
Source: TF1 Info