Why in news ?
As part of the AUKUS initiative with Australia and the US, the UK has given three UK businesses a 4 billion pound ($4.9 billion) contract to design and build an attack submarine powered by nuclear energy.
What is AUKUS?
AUKUS is a recently formed strategic defence alliance involving Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This marks the first time the United States has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally, excluding its partnership with the United Kingdom. The AUKUS alliance was established after the Australian Navy sought the UK’s assistance in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. Discussions regarding this collaboration occurred during the G7 meetings in June 2021, attended by Joe Biden, Scott Morrison, and Boris Johnson. It is important to note that the AUKUS partnership is neither a newly created entity nor a collective defence pact.
Background of AUKUS Alliance
- In recent years, the perceived extent of the Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific area has expanded substantially.
- Nuclear-powered submarines have a greater range, are faster and are more difficult to detect in this setting.
- Meanwhile, America may deploy attack submarines from HMAS Stirling, an Australian navy facility in Perth.
Purpose of AUKUS
The purpose of AUKUS is to “deepen cooperation on security and defense”. This is particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. The agreement includes the sharing of intelligence, technology, and capabilities. It is seen as a way to deter China from aggression.
Features of AUKUS Alliance
- The AUKUS alliance has several notable features:
- Strategic Defense Cooperation: AUKUS establishes a framework for enhanced strategic defence cooperation between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Nuclear Propulsion Technology Sharing: The alliance includes sharing nuclear propulsion technology, marking the first time the United States has shared such technology with an ally other than the United Kingdom.
- Focus on Submarines: AUKUS primarily focuses on developing and acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian Navy.
- Technological Advancements: The alliance emphasizes the utilization of advanced technology and innovation in defence and security measures.
- Intelligence Sharing: AUKUS facilitates intelligence sharing and collaboration among the member countries to enhance their collective defence capabilities.
Source – PIB