(USNewsMag.com) – By the 2030s Australia will have its own submarines with nuclear-powered capabilities, President Joe Biden announced March 13. Biden met with Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) partnership members British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to make the announcement.
Before the first transfer of submarines and to provide familiarity with the technology, the U.S. and the United Kingdom will step up its port visits by submarines like the USS Missouri in order to train crews on the technology. Australian crews will also begin training with U.S. and the United Kingdom nuclear power schools. By 2027 the facilities that house the submarines are expected to be ready.
Five Virginia-class boats will be purchased by Australia, which will not have nuclear weapons on them when transferred, in compliance with international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty rules. China has spoken out saying that the deal violates the rules.
The first three will be transferred by 2032, a timeline that is quicker than anticipated when the partnership formed 18 months ago. They will have the option to receive the other two then as well, if needed.
By the 2040s, the U.K. and Australia will build new submarines with technology and support from the U.S.
The deal included the Australian government canceling its $66 billion contract for conventional submarines built by France.
Created in 2021, the partnership between the three countries focused on how to provide Australia with access to nuclear-powered submarines. The partnership has also developed and provided joint military capabilities that allow the countries to promote security and stability by countering China’s actions in the region.
Biden met with Albanese and Sunak individually as well, discussing the war in Ukraine as well as the global economy. The announcement in San Diego is the first on Biden’s trip to California and Nevada, which is set to include fundraising events for his expected 2024 presidential run.
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