The new allies’ agreement will include cooperation on nuclear-powered subs, AI and cutting-edge defense tech.
President Joe Biden just announced a new working group with Britain and Australia to share advanced technologies — including the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines — in a thinly veiled bid to counter China.
The trio, now known by the acronym AUKUS, will make it easier for the three countries to share information and know-how in key technological areas like artificial intelligence, cyber, quantum, underwater systems, and long-range strike capabilities.
Biden, joined virtually by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday afternoon, detailed the reasons for the trilateral effort.
“This is about investing in our greatest source of strength, our alliances and updating them to better meet the threats of today and tomorrow,” Biden said from the White House in between two monitors showing the other world leaders. “AUKUS — it sounds strange, all these acronyms, but it’s a good one.”
“We must now take our partnership to a new level,” said Morrison.
“We’re adding a new chapter in our friendship,” Johnson added.
All three countries will work over the next 18 months to figure out how best to deliver the technology, which the U.S. traditionally has only shared with the U.K., the official said. U.S. officials and experts noted that Australia currently doesn’t have the requisite fissile material to run a nuclear-powered submarine, meaning the next year and a half of negotiations will likely feature nuclear-material transfer discussions.
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