A $3 billion deal with the UK brings Australia closer to having a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia is set to provide A$4.6 billion ($3 billion) to British industry to support the construction of nuclear-powered submarines and ensure its new fleet arrives on time, the two countries announced Friday.

This announcement came a day after the two countries signed an agreement Defense and Security Agreement To better meet challenges such as China's increasing activity in the South China Sea and the South Pacific.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said the submarine program was expensive but necessary.

Shapps said: “Nuclear-powered submarines are not cheap, but we live in a more dangerous world as we see a more assertive region with China, and a more dangerous world everywhere with what is happening in the Middle East and Europe.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“States need to invest in making sure adversaries see that we are serious about our security, defending freedom of navigation, for example.”

The ten-year agreement announced at the annual ministers' meeting would boost capacity at Rolls-Royce's plant in Derby, UK, to build the nuclear reactors that will propel the submarines to be built by BAE Systems in Adelaide, Australia.

The Virginia-class submarines will be primarily of UK design and will carry a US weapons system.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said the agreement shows the nuclear submarine program will be completed and will create new submarine production capacity. Okos PartnersIn reference to the gathering of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“These are major foundational decisions that show that the path to Australia having a nuclear-powered submarine capability under the AUKUS banner is happening, and the result of that here will be the country's most advanced manufacturing and one of the world's leading submarine manufacturers.” “It's the most advanced manufacturing production line in the world,” Marles told reporters on Friday at Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide.

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Australia is gaining At least three US nuclear submarines From the early 2030s under the AUKUS agreement.

“Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States remain fully committed to this joint endeavour,” a joint tripartite statement issued by Marles, Shapps and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday said.

“These steps to grow Australia’s capacity to build and maintain submarines are critical to the AUKUS partnership, expanding trilateral industrial capacity and building the collective resilience of AUKUS partners to produce and sustain conventional nuclear-armed submarines for decades to come.”

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