The British and Australian governments are negotiating a new defence cooperation agreement that will allow British nuclear-powered submarines to continue to operate close to Australian naval bases and conduct routine maintenance there.
The approval of this agreement also means that British nuclear submarines will have a permanent and long-term presence in the waters of the Indo-Pacific region instead of having to return to the UK for maintenance as usual.
Our correspondent quoted former British Defense Technology Attaché to the US James Peddell as saying that accessing a military base in Australia would allow British submarines to have a permanent presence in the region and also allow cost-sharing among allies.
Britain currently owns four Astute-class nuclear submarines with a value of £1.4 billion each, of which one is in service and three are under construction.
The information about the negotiation of a new defense agreement between the UK and Australia comes in the context that these two countries and the US have just reached an agreement to establish the AUKUS alliance and the first step of this agreement is the US and Britain coordinated to help Australia own eight nuclear-powered submarines.
There is currently no information on what type of nuclear-powered submarine Australia will own. However, there is some speculation that Australia will have the opportunity to choose the US Virginia class submarine or the British Astute class submarine.