An unprecedented cooperation announced under the blue sky of California: the United States , Australia and the United Kingdom have launched a joint program of nuclear-powered submarines, intended to stand up to China in the Pacific .
State-of-the-art military equipment, which has a longer navigation autonomy than conventional submarines, and can carry more sophisticated weapons.
Overwhelmed by their own order book to renew their fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, the United States therefore leaves most of the construction to the British partner, according to the terms agreed by the three leaders on Monday. The first should be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy from 2027.
Australia , which is to ramp up itself to build part of the fleet, “will deliver the first Australian – built SSN-AUKUS in the early 2040s”, indique le communiqué des dirigeants. Les coûts pour chaque partenaire ne sont pas précisés. “Les Etats-Unis examinent les investissements supplémentaires nécessaires pour accélérer la production et la maintenance des sous-marins afin de répondre aux besoins des Etats-Unis et d’AUKUS”, indique seulement Washington.
President of the United States Joe Biden assured: “These are powered submarines, not nuclear-armed submarines. These submarines will be nuclear-powered, but will not carry nuclear weapons. Australia is proud to be a non-nuclear weapon state and is committed to remaining so.”
Rishi Sunak , British Prime Minister adds : “For the first time there will be three fleets of submarines working together in the Atlantic and the Pacific to keep our oceans free, open and thriving for decades to come.”
“The scale, complexity and economic importance of this investment is comparable to the creation of Australia’s automotive industry in the post-World War II era,” said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese .
This is the first concrete collaboration of the new AUKUS Alliance , formed by the 3 countries in September 2021… at the expense of a contract negotiated between Canberra and Paris a few months earlier.
China, which observes the new game of alliances, protested against this project, asking AUKUS to abandon “Cold War mentality and zero-sum games” .