The Australian government has cancelled a controversial contract to lease two French-made submarines from DCNS, citing concerns about the security of the vessels.
AUKUS is an acronym for Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America. The australia submarine contract was a deal that the Australian government had with France to purchase two submarines from them. However, due to recent political changes in Australia, the government decided to cancel the order and re-open it for other countries.
On September 15, the leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced the formation of a new defense alliance. France immediately protested about being left out of the group. It is, however, the only European nation having land in the Indo-Pacific area, which the alliance was formed to safeguard. France also claimed that the alliance had resulted in Australia’s $90 billion purchase of French submarines being canceled.
During a virtual conference, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and US President Joe Biden revealed their plans.
They stated the collaboration will be known as AUKUS, which stands for Australia (A), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) (US).
The three presidents stated in a joint statement, “Our governments will enhance their capacity to assist each other’s security and defense interests via AUKUS, building on our long-standing bilateral relations. We will encourage a greater exchange of knowledge and technology.”
They also said that “deeper integration of security and defense-related research, technology, industrial bases, and supply networks” will be developed. The presidents also pledged to “deepen collaboration on a variety of security and military capacities.” The construction of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia’s navy would be AUKUS’ initial project.
Whitehouse.gov/briefing-room has the full message.
The submarines will be constructed using US and UK technological know-how, according to the announcement. According to the Guardian, Morrison said that the submarines will be constructed in Adelaide, Australia.
The $90 billion agreement was canceled.
Australia cancelled a $90 billion procurement of diesel-powered submarines from France as a direct result of the AUKUS decision to construct nuclear-powered submarines.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly both responded in writing to the cancellation and France’s expulsion from AUKUS.
The two stated in a statement released on September 16 that the cancellation was “regrettable” and that it “only emphasizes the necessity to address the issue of European strategic autonomy loud and clear.”
“There is no alternative viable route for protecting our interests and principles throughout the globe, especially in the Indo-Pacific area,” they went on to say. The two ministers noted that France’s island holdings in the Indian and Pacific Oceans were home to almost two million French people “and more than 7,000 military troops.”
On Twitter, a portion of the message was shared, along with a link to the French-language version.
The full English version may be found at franceintheus.org, the website of the French Embassy in the United States.
“At a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the decision to exclude an ally and partner like from a structured relationship with Australia (…) demonstrates a lack of coherence that we can only observe and regret.” https://t.co/ruGnJkQAWa
— France in the United States (@franceintheus) September 16, 2021
‘Confronting China’ is a book on how to deal with China.
Although China was not mentioned in the AUKUS joint statement, numerous headlines suggested that Morrison, Johnson, and Biden had China on their thoughts. “The United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia form a military alliance to confront China,” according to the Guardian. “Biden announces joint agreement with U.K.,” according to a Politico article.
to confront China, as well as Australia.” “Aukus: UK, US, and Australia form agreement to fight China,” read one headline. AUKUS was characterized as “an attempt by the US to create a new coalition against China” in an editorial in the Chinese state-run daily Global Times.
The Global Times in China has written a fantastic editorial on the AUKUS alliance and the submarines agreement. Australian troops, he said, “are most likely to be the first group of soldiers to perish in the South China Sea.” https://t.co/fut8HindBm
September 16, 2021 — Lanai Scarr (@lanai scarr)
Submarines with nuclear propulsion but no nuclear weapons
“Australia is committed to meeting all of its responsibilities as a non-nuclear weapons state, including with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the joint statement said. According to NPR, Biden said Australia would have “conventionally armed submarines fueled by nuclear reactors.” According to the Guardian, Australia will become the world’s seventh nation to deploy nuclear-powered submarines in its military.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ‘Loophole’
According to the Guardian, Australia is using a “loophole” in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that allows nations without nuclear weapons to construct nuclear-powered submarines. The pact gave those nations permission to utilize enriched uranium or other fissile material from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s stocks. According to the Guardian, nothing was preventing Australia from utilizing the material to build nuclear weapons. “Although Washington says that Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would not carry nuclear weapons,” the Global Times editorial stated, “such limitations are not trustworthy.”
‘An unexpected and very welcome sign.’
Ashley Townshend is the director of foreign policy and defense at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.
Biden’s decision to assist Australia in building submarines was “a unexpected and very welcome indication” of an uncommon “willingness to empower close friends like Australia,” according to Politico. Since giving nuclear-powered submarine technology to the United Kingdom in 1958, the United States has not shared it, according to NPR.
“This is an unexpected and heartening indication of the Biden administration’s readiness to empower close friends like Australia by providing highly sophisticated military technology support – something the US has seldom done.” For @politico, here’s my #AUUKUS take: https://t.co/dZro5VIWpA
September 15, 2021 — Ashley Townshend (@ashleytownshend)
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The attack class submarine is a type of submarine that is considered to be the most advanced and effective in its class. Australia was planning on ordering two of these submarines from France, but has now cancelled the order due to the new defense partnership with Japan.
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