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US and UK took away the Australian nuclear submarine deal from France


The United States, Britain, and Australia established the “AUKUS” alliance on September 15 to make it easier for the three countries to share key technologies such as artificial intelligence, networks, quantum communication, underwater systems, and long-range strike capabilities. The new strategic alliance of the United States, Britain, and Australia will inevitably affect the international situation, and the storm has just started.

France stabbed in the back

As soon as the AUKUS alliance was established, its first action was “the United States and the United Kingdom will help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines.” This aroused the anger of France, because Australia signed a contract with France in 2016 to spend 90 billion Australian dollars to purchase 12 French-made “Barracuda-class” nuclear-powered attack submarines to replace the Australian Navy’s 6 “Collins-class” submarines.

Barracuda class nuclear attack submarine
Barracuda class nuclear attack submarine

Now Australia can build its own nuclear submarine with the help of the United States and Britain, which means that the submarine agreement between France and Australia has ended. Facing the prying away of the business, French Foreign Minister Le Drian angrily scolded, “France is like being stabbed in the back”.

This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”

Subsequently, France canceled the “240th Anniversary of the Battle of the Cape” that was originally scheduled to debut on September 17 to celebrate the key naval battle of the American Revolution. The French naval officers who are currently attending the feast and heading to the United States have returned to Paris.

Royal navy nuclear submarine
Royal navy nuclear submarine

Australia said that France knew the news in advance, but French Ambassador Etienne said, “We didn’t know this news until it was announced in the US and Australia.”

Australia defends itself

Australia’s “betrayal” behavior deeply stabbed France. In this regard, Australian Defense Minister Dutton went to the line of fire on September 16 to defend the submarine program.

Dutton said, “The clear advice given to us by the chief of the navy and the military is that after entering the 2030s, especially in the second half of the 2030s and the 2040s, traditional diesel-electric submarines, that is, Australia’s existing “Collins-class” submarines , Unable to provide the capabilities required by the Australian Navy, so we need a nuclear-powered submarine.

Collins class submarine
Collins class submarine

In addition, the version provided by France is no better than the version provided by the United States and the United Kingdom. Compared with the French solution, the technology provided by the United States allows Australia to increase the concealment of submarines in the Indo-Pacific region, and shorten the time of ascent, thereby extending deployment time. Therefore, considering what is most in line with Australia’s national security, as well as the general security and peace of the Indo-Pacific region, Australia chooses to cooperate with the United States.

Considering strategic alliances

In fact, abandoning France is not only a consideration of the military needs of the Australian Navy, but also a strategic alliance factor behind it.

Dutton said that the latest US-Australia talks in Washington have strengthened the commitment of both parties and confirmed that the US-Australia alliance can cope with future strategic challenges.”

He further explained that Australia and the United States will “significantly enhance the Australian military’s posture cooperation, including the deployment of various US military aircraft to Australia through rotation, so as to greatly enhance the air cooperation between the two sides, and deployment options even include bombers.”

In addition, he also hinted that the number of American troops rotating to Darwin would also increase. The United States and Australia will conduct more military exercises in the future, and will also conduct more joint exercises with other partners in the region. Australia is also willing to open up its territory, establish and store military supplies.

US Secretary of Defense Austin responded that the United States and Australia will continue to explore greater and more frequent contact with each other’s air capabilities, and provide more training opportunities for the US military forces, and will also expand the US military’s logistical capabilities in Australia.

In addition, the United States and Britain assisting Australia in building nuclear submarines means that the United States and Britain will give the sensitive technology for nuclear submarine construction. The United States only shared such technical equipment with the United Kingdom in the past, and Australia currently does not have the fissile materials required to operate nuclear-powered submarines. Therefore, the three countries still need to discuss the transfer of nuclear materials, and Australia has previously promised not to enrich the nuclear materials provided by the United States. Processing.

Although the three countries did not mention “China” in the agreement, US officials said that this is another effort by Western countries to respond to China’s dictorship in South China sea and indo-pacofic.


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