A $3 billion deal with the UK moves Australia closer to having nuclear-powered submarines

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia will pay 4.6 billion Australian dollars ($3 billion) to British industry to build nuclear-powered submarines and ensure its new fleet arrives on time, the two countries said Friday.

The announcement came a day after the two countries signed the agreement Defense and security agreement Challenges such as China's increased activity in the South China Sea and the South Pacific must be better met.

United Kingdom Defense Minister Grant Shabbs said the submarine program was expensive but necessary.

“Nuclear-powered submarines are not cheap, but we live in a very dangerous world where we see a very assertive region with China, and what's happening in the Middle East and Europe is a very dangerous world,” Shabbs said. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“For example, countries need to invest in our security, in protecting freedom of navigation, so that adversaries see that we are serious.”

The 10-year deal, announced at the annual ministerial meeting, will boost capacity at Rolls-Royce's factory in Derby, England, to build nuclear reactors to power submarines built by BAE Systems in Adelaide, Australia.

The Virginia-class submarines will be primarily of UK design and will have an American weapons system.

Australia's Defense Minister Richard Marles said the deal showed the nuclear submarines program would be completed and create new production capacity. AUKUS PartnersRefers to a group of countries including Australia, England and the United States.

“These are big ground-breaking results that demonstrate that Australia's path to nuclear-powered submarine capability under the AUKUS banner is underway, and the result here will be the most advanced manufacturing in the country. The most advanced manufacturing sectors in the world,” Marles told reporters at the Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide on Friday.

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Australia is buying At least three US nuclear submarines From the early 2030s under the AUKUS agreement.

“Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are fully committed to this shared effort,” said a joint trilateral statement by Marles, Shapps and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.

“These actions to develop Australia's submarine construction and maintenance capability are critical to the AUKUS partnership, expanding trilateral industrial capacity and building the collective resilience of AUKUS partners to produce and deploy conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for decades to come.”

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