AUKUS – is the newly announced trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the USA. The initial purpose is to aid Australia in developing and deploying nuclear-powered submarines, adding to the Western Military presence in the region.
It’s not without controversy given that it is the biggest strategic step Australia has taken in generations – yet there was much secrecy surrounding the pact. It also produced a diplomatic row with France as it involved walking away from a £47.6 billion deal with French shipbuilder.
However, aside from the political debates surrounding this pact, what will be the implications for Australia’s research and manufacturing sectors?
Over the next 18 months, the US and UK will ‘support Australia’s desire to acquire nuclear powered submarines.’ Adelaide will soon see technical and strategic teams from all three countries working on building subs.
Whilst the ink is still drying on the pact, there is no hard figure on budgets that are going to be allotted or what part of the manufacturing process Australia will be involved in. Certainly most of the actual manufacturing will be based in the UK. However, there will be more Australian participation than in the beleaguered French deal.
What is clear is that the UK and the US intend to impart knowledge about nuclear submarine technology to Australia. The intention is to ‘spur co-operation across many new and emerging arenas – cyber, applied AI, quantum technology and some undersea capabilities’.
It is an interesting development that could provide the highest levels of expertise to Australia…follow the link here for analysis of the issues around the agreement…