Submarine crisis: Australia signs its first agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom

The Aukus alliance – acronym for Australia, United Kingdom, United States – was talked about a lot at the time of its announcement in September. Monday, November 22, it became concrete, since Australia officially committed to equip itself with nuclear-powered submarines, as part of this joint defense program with Great Britain and the United States.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton signed an agreement with British and American diplomats authorizing the exchange of“Information on naval nuclear propulsion” between their countries. This is the first agreement signed and made public since the announcement of the union of the three countries to deal with growing strategic tensions between the United States and China in the Pacific.

This alliance was accompanied by the cancellation by Australia of a mega-contract for the purchase of twelve French submarines with conventional propulsion for a value of 90 billion Australian dollars (55 billion euros), causing a lasting quarrel between Paris and Canberra.

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The deal will help Australia complete an eighteen-month study on the acquisition of submarines, Dutton said in Canberra after the deal’s signing ceremony with the charge. of American Affairs, Michael Goldman, and the British High Commissioner to Australia, Victoria Treadell.

China irritated

Details of the acquisition have yet to be decided, including Australia’s choice of US or UK nuclear-powered attack submarines.

“Thanks to the access to information afforded by this agreement, as well as the decades of experience of our British and American partners in the field of nuclear-powered submarines, Australia will also be able to be a responsible manager. and reliable of this technology “Mr. Dutton said in a statement.

Previously, United States President Joe Biden said in a memorandum endorsing the deal that it would improve the “Mutual defense position” of the three countries.

Under the Aukus deal, Australia is to acquire eight state-of-the-art nuclear-powered submarines capable of long-range stealth missions. It also provides for the sharing of unspecified cybernetic, artificial intelligence, quantum and underwater capabilities. This partnership irritates China, which describes it as a threat “Extremely irresponsible” weighing on the stability of the region.

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Submarine crisis: a military-industrial failure

Australia’s turnaround on the “contract of the century” shows that sales of military equipment are a component of States’ strategic choices. And that’s nothing new …

  • “The analysis of the relations between countries which buy and sell arms provides valuable information”, by Christian Schmidt, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Paris-Dauphine and former president of the International Defense Economic Association
  • “Strategic, industrial and commercial logics become entangled”, interview with Laurence Badel, professor of the history of international relations at the University of Paris-I – Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • “The arms industry remains largely under the control of the State”, by Hervé Joly, historian at the CNRS (Triangle laboratory, University of Lyon)
  • “The secrecy surrounding the Aukus agreement is no surprise”, by Robert Bell is professor of management at Brooklyn College, City University of New York
  • “It is not possible to estimate the value of the intangible capital developed and transmitted”, by Romaric Servajean-Hilst, professor at Kedge Business School and associate researcher at Ecole Polytechnique (i3-CRG)
  • “The interweaving of the private and the public is intensified by the search for the reduction of production costs”, by Hubert Bonin, professor emeritus at Sciences Po Bordeaux and at GRETHA-Universite de Bordeaux

The World with AFP

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Submarine crisis: Australia signs its first agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom