Tuesday, March 5, 2024

AUKUS nuclear sub plan surfaces

In a historic announcement broadcast live to the world, the leaders of Australia, the United States and United Kingdom have outlined a plan to forge a new military alliance – AUKUS – with the construction of a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines the first item of business for the group.

It’s expected the submarines – which all leaders were at pains to state would be nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed – will be delivered until around 2035.

“Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region, the Indo-Pacific,” Australian PM, Scott Morrison said in his (AEST) 7am address.

“This affects us all. The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures.”

“To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level. A partnership that seeks to engage, not to exclude. To contribute, not take. And to enable and empower, not to control or coerce.”

He said AUKUS (pronounced OR-KUS) was born out of that need for security and stability, describing the new trilateral security partnership between Australia, the UK and US.

“A partnership where our technology, our scientists, our industry, our defence forces are all working together to deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all.”

“AUKUS will also enhance our contribution to our growing network of partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region – ANZUS, our ASEAN friends, our bilateral strategic partners, the Quad, Five Eyes countries and, of course, our dear Pacific family.

“The first major initiative of AUKUS will be to deliver a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia. Over the next eighteen months we will work together to seek to determine the best way forward to achieve this.

“This will include an intense examination of what we need to do to exercise our nuclear stewardship responsibilities here in Australia.”

He said the submarines would be built in Adelaide, South Australia, in close cooperation with the UK and US.

“But let me be clear, Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability.”

“And we will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

“Australia has a long history of defence cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom. For more than a century, we have stood together for the cause of peace and freedom.

“Motivated by the beliefs we share, sustained by the bonds of friendship we have forged, enabled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us, and inspired by our shared hope for those who will follow us.

“And so, today, friends, we recommit ourselves to this cause and a new AUKUS vision.”

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