Australia to build nuclear-powered submarine fleet under new defence deal with UK, US.
Australia will get access to nuclear submarine technology as part of a landmark security pact with the United States and United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced the historic agreement, which also paves the way for Australia's $90 billion French submarine deal to be scrapped.
The new AUUKUS trilateral security partnership will allow the three countries to share technology covering cyber security, artificial intelligence, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.
Tune in as I deliver remarks on a national security initiative – joined virtually by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson. https://t.co/reAHEnNxAZ— President Biden (@POTUS) September 15, 2021
Over the next 18 months, Australia will investigate building the nuclear submarine fleet in Adelaide.
Morrison reiterated, "Let me be clear, Australia is not seeking to establish nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability. We will continue to meet all of our nuclear non-proliferation obligations."
The three leaders held a "national security event" at 7am AEST on Thursday to announce the alliance.
Mr Morrison said AUUKUS was a response to an increasingly "complex" Indo-Pacific.
"This affects us all," he said. "The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures."
"To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level."
Mr Morrison did not directly mention the Chinese government in his comments, but the deal has been described as "China's worst nightmare".
Federal cabinet ministers were summoned to a secret meeting in Canberra on Wednesday ahead of the announcement after being granted border exemptions to enter the ACT.