This agreement enables the exchange of mutual feelings “Information on marine nuclear propulsion”, Signed by Australian Secretary of Defense Peter Dutton and US and British Ambassadors.
This is the first agreement between the two countries on this technology since the AUKUS agreement was announced. The deal, which provides Australia with secret technologies to build nuclear-powered submarines, is widely seen as an attempt to counter China and its growing influence in the South China Sea, the AFP said.
Dutton said the signed agreement would allow Australia to conduct an 18-month study on nuclear submarine designs, with Michael Goldman, US director in Australia, and British Ambassador to Canberra Victoria Treadel.
The AFP notes, however, that Australia has not yet decided whether to build future nuclear submarines under existing British or US plans.
“With access to the information provided by this Agreement and our UK and US partners having decades of experience in marine nuclear propulsion, Australia will have every opportunity to be a responsible and reliable administrator of this technology.” Dutton said in a statement.
US President Joe Biden on Friday backed the signing of a memorandum of understanding, saying the deal would enhance the security of the three countries.
Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia will acquire eight state-of-the-art nuclear-powered submarines capable of carrying out long-term covert missions. The agreement also includes information sharing rules on cyber security, artificial intelligence and quantum technology.
France has been particularly critical of the AUKUS agreement, especially for canceling Canberra’s agreement with Paris in 2016 to supply 12 conventional submarines for 31 billion euros. France says the deal was announced just hours before it was due to be announced. China views this as an agreement “Very irresponsible” Threats to stability in the region.
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