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What is the AUKUS military pact and how are the nuclear-powered submarines that Australia will buy from the US?

What is the AUKUS military pact and how are the nuclear-powered submarines that Australia will buy from the US?

What is the AUKUS military pact and how are the nuclear-powered submarines that Australia will buy from the US?

Australia will buy up to five nuclear-powered submarines made in USA to modernize its fleet. It will do so within the scope of the AUKUS security pact, to which it forms part along with the United Kingdom and the United States, and which in turn is a response to China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, where the Asian giant has disputes with other nations.

The region Indo-Pacific It comprises the Indian Ocean, the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, and the sea that connects the two in the Indonesian area.

LOOK: USA vs. China: Fierce competition in the Indo-Pacific shapes the new Cold War of the 21st century

White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivanspecified that the United States agreed with Australia selling three modern Virginia-class submarines and it was established that two more could be delivered to the oceanic country if necessary.

US President Joe Biden (center) participates in a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during the AUKUS summit on March 13, 2023. ( Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP). (JIM WATSON/)

The purchase agreement was confirmed on the same day that US President Joe Biden hosted Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego, California to discuss AUKUS.

Here are the keys to what this military pact means:

United States, United Kingdom and Australia announced on September 15, 2021 an ambitious security pact to share advanced defense technology. The news provoked the ire of China, as it was interpreted as an attempt to counter its advances and influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

AUKUS is the acronym in English for Australia, United Kingdom and United States. It has in the objective of “def of those powers.

The agreement paved the way for Australia had access to nuclear powered submarineswhich are stealthier and more efficient than conventionally powered submersibles, according to the AP agency.

“We all recognize the imperative to ensure long-term peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific”, Biden said in September 2021 after the announcement of the pact. “We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve.”

At the time, China reacted through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which assured that the pact “Threatens to seriously damage regional peace… and intensify the arms race.”

He also associated the pact with “an outdated Cold War mentality.”

The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) before commissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut on March 17, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day via AP, File).

The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) before commissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut on March 17, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day via AP, File).

For the defense specialist Andres Gomez de la TorreAUKUS is part of a new geopolitics, an international strategy launched by the United States in its confrontation with China.

AUKUS It is a trilogy whose common denominator is the slogan of representative democracies against authoritarianism or totalitarianism, as in the Chinese case”, pointed out Gómez de la Torre in dialogue with Trade.

“Part of this political slogan carries the strategic issue of fencing off growing Chinese expansionism in various parts of the planet”remark.

Gómez de la Torre indicates that the North American strategy also obliges to strengthen the military Australia and remember that in recent years the oceanic country has had a strong commercial interaction with China. “There are many Chinese business interests that have expanded, particularly in the extractive mining arena; So, it is also about strategically recovering Australia in this alliance with the United Kingdom and equipping it with the latest generation military technology. And not only that, there is also the possibility of exchanging information. AUKUS is a broad coordination in defense matters whose epicenter and objective is China”.

According to the American press, United States and Australia secretly negotiated a contract for 66,000 million dollars for the purchase of Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarinesthe most modern that the highest military power in the world has.

Australia thus seeks to replace its fleet of Collins-class submersibles.

This photo released by the Royal Australian Navy and taken on March 22, 2015 shows Australia's Collins-class submarines.  (AFP).

This photo released by the Royal Australian Navy and taken on March 22, 2015 shows Australia’s Collins-class submarines. (AFP). (CPOIS DAVID CONNOLLY/)

The Submarines You Will Buy Australia they will join their naval ranks by the end of the year 2030.

the class of Virginia Submarines began to designed in the early 90s under the code name Centurion.

It is the last submarine US Navy fast-attack submarine, which is intended to replace the aging fleet of Los Angeles-class submarines.

The Virginia-class submarines, also known as the SSN-774 class, are fast attack craft with nuclear-powered cruise missiles.

They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare.

In the case of the Virginia New Jersey class submarine, it is equipped with 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles long-range and surface attack, along with four UGM-84 Harpoon torpedo launchers. In total, you can carry 37 units of ammunition. In the fifth generation, he hopes to be able to increase that number of ammunition to 72.

According to the portal El Español, some intelligence reports suggest that the United States seeks to equip its submarines Virginia class with a laser weapon, which will be able to reach targets such as drones, aircraft or boats to disintegrate them in a few seconds and with surgical precision.

To negotiate the purchase of US submarines, in 2021 Australia had to break a 2016 contract with the French shipping company Naval for the acquisition of 12 conventional submersibles at a cost of 65,000 million dollars. This situation caused tensions between Canberra and Paris and forced the payment of compensation of 595 million dollars.

According to the AFP agency, since then the tension has decreased, amid intense diplomatic exchanges that included a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to the United States in December.

”It is no longer our business. It’s over”, a French source told AFP

Although France has agreed to turn the page, still thinks it “was a mistake” and will remain “attentive” to nuclear non-proliferation issues, says AFP.

While the AP agency reported that France has been informed about the terms of the purchase agreement that was sealed in San Diego. President Biden spoke with Macron on Tuesday of last week, the White House said. He added that they “discussed the cooperation between the United States and France in the Indo-Pacific region.”

with the alliance AUKUSthe three countries that make it up seek to reaffirm their presence in the strategic Asia-Pacific region, which goes from the coasts of East Africa to the west of the United States, through which a large part of world trade passes, and where it grows. Chinese influence, indicates AFP.

In addition, the announcement of the purchase of the submarines occurs in a context in which China does not exclude resorting to force to achieve the annexation of Taiwan. Even Beijing has just approved a 7.2% increase in its Defense budget for 2023, the largest since 2019.

For his part, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said last week that the new submarines have the potential to operate in a war, although their “real intention” is to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Source: Elcomercio

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