According to reports, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom will unveil a historic security agreement.
According to Australian media, the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom are poised to announce a significant security pact on Wednesday, which may see a multibillion-dollar Paris-Canberra submarine contract cancelled.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the AUKUS treaty would allow the three countries to “exchange advanced technologies, including nuclear submarine technology.”
According to rumors, the official announcement will be made later Wednesday. At 5 p.m., US President Joe Biden will offer “brief remarks about a national security initiative,” according to the White House (2100 GMT). Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will join him electronically.
According to the article, Australia will likely cancel an AUS$90 billion (approximately $66 billion) plan to buy French submarines in light of the new treaty.
The controversial contract with France’s Naval Group to build 12 cutting-edge Attack Class submarines is years behind time, substantially over budget, and has been entangled in Australian political politics.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “full and complete” support to the contract as recently as June this year, but a top Australian defense official stated around the same time that Australia was actively studying alternatives if the French accord fell through.
Officials in Australia said at the time that the details of “Plan B” were confidential, but that the matter had been treated more seriously in recent months and that it comprised submarines and non-submarines.
The AUKUS treaty would see Australia replace its Collins class submarines with nuclear-powered submarines based on US and British technology, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to Politico, the agreement would allow the three countries to share information in areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber, and long-range strike capabilities.
The announcement comes as Australia increases defense spending in response to a fast expanding and increasingly assertive China.
President Joe Biden of the United States has recently increased diplomatic efforts to strengthen partnerships in order to counterbalance China.
On September 24, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend the first-ever White House meeting of the “Quad” diplomatic grouping, which includes Australia, the United States, Japan, and India.
The alliance is considered as an attempt to counter China’s expanding economic and military clout in the Asia-Pacific.
Morrison conducted a “top-secret” cabinet meeting on the AUKUS pact on Tuesday in Canberra, according to Australian media sources, with ABC underlining the “very uncommon step” of engaging the opposition leader and shadow ministers in the briefing on the plan.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s Defense Minister. Brief News from Washington Newsday.