British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday that the AUKUS nuclear pact has been “great news” for both global security and British jobs.
AUKUS is a three-way strategic defense alliance between Australia, the UK and the US initially to build a class of nuclear-propelled submarines.
But Its primary objective is “to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and to deter and defend against rapidly evolving threats to the international order and system there,” according to the US White House.
It is also designed to enhance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, where the rise of China is seen as a growing threat, and to develop wider technologies.
"The AUKUS partnership, and the submarines we are building in British shipyards, are a tangible demonstration of our commitment to global security. This partnership was founded on the bedrock of our shared values and resolute focus on upholding stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," Sunak said in a statement.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the pact will support thousands of jobs across the UK, particularly in the northwest of England, adding "this endeavor will boost prosperity across our country and showcase the prowess of British industry to our allies and partners."
A new fleet of submarines will be built by the UK and Australia based on the UK’s nuclear-powered submarine design.
The first UK submarines will be delivered in the late 2030s to replace the current Astute-Class vessels and the first Australian submarines will follow in the early 2040s.
The agreement is seen by many as significant because it marks the first time the US has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally other than the UK.
In 2021, as a result of this alliance, Australia decided to cancel a contract with France which was awarded in 2016 to build 12 diesel electric-powered submarines to replace its existing Collins Class submarine fleet.