The AUKUS defense alliance agrees to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities.
Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, a grouping known as AUKUS, have agreed to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities, the leaders of the three countries said.
development continues the creation of the AUKUS defense alliance between the three nations in September last year, prompting Australia to cancel a contract for a conventional French submarine in favor of a US- and UK-backed nuclear submarine programme, damaging relations with the French president Emmanuel Macron.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, AUKUS leaders UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they were pleased with the program’s progress. for conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines for Australia the allies would also cooperate in other areas.
“We…committed today to begin new trilateral cooperation in hypersonic and counterhypersonic, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as expand information sharing and deepen defense innovation cooperation,” they said.
“These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen cooperation in cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional subsea capabilities.
“As our work on these and other critical defense and security capabilities progresses, we will look for opportunities to engage close allies and partners.”
The United States and Australia already have a hypersonic weapons program called SCIFiRE, and UK officials said that while Britain would not join that program at the moment, the three countries would work together on research and development in the area to increase their capabilities. options.
The Biden administration is investing in the research and development of hypersonic missiles, which travel at five times the speed of sound, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February has heightened concerns about European security.
“In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unwarranted and illegal invasion of Ukraine, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes without coercion,” the leaders said, and added they also reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
When asked about the deal, China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun warned against moves that could fuel a crisis like the Ukraine conflict in other parts of the world.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to see the Ukraine crisis should refrain from doing things that could lead other parts of the world into a crisis like this,” Zhang told reporters.
“As the Chinese saying goes: if you don’t like it, don’t impose it on others.”
While ballistic missiles fly high in space in an arc to reach their target, a hypersonic weapon flies in a trajectory low in the atmosphere, potentially reaching a target more quickly.
Fundamentally, a hypersonic missile is maneuverable, like the much slower cruise missile, often subsonic, which makes it much harder to track and defend.
Russia is seen as the most advanced nation in this fieldwhile China is also aggressively developing the technology, according to the US Congressional Research Service (CRS).
France, Germany, Australia, India and Japan have been working on hypersonics, and Iran, Israel and South Korea have done basic research on the technology, the CRS said earlier.
The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia launched their historic security pact last September. The pact was heralded at the time as allowing the three allies to share advanced technologies.