The defense leaders of the US, UK, and Australia recently met, showcasing their cooperation on cutting-edge technologies such as AI, deep space radar, and quantum computing. The meeting underlines the AUKUS alliance's commitment to strengthening defenses against rising global threats.
AUKUS alliance strengthens military capabilities
In the heart of the US tech sector, the defense chiefs of the United States, UK, and Australia gathered to bolster the AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, United States) partnership, which was launched in September 2021. This once-in-a-generation opportunity, as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin describes it, is aimed at offering a Western counterweight to the assertiveness of regimes in Moscow and Beijing. The meeting underscores the commitment to develop and deliver advanced capabilities to their troops for decisive action in the face of rising global threats.
Technological advancements in defense
The focal points of the meeting were cutting-edge developments, including the 'Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability' program, enabling radar detection sites in all three countries by the end of the decade. This capacity will allow views 22,000 miles into space. In addition to deep space radar, the countries will coordinate on quantum technologies to aid in navigation and weapons direction and resilient artificial intelligence, which will provide precise targeting.
While the three countries have long been allies, the tightening of ties, particularly through the AUKUS alliance, has been a cause of concern for Beijing. The alliance's activities, including the 'freedom of navigation' voyages through the South China Sea, have been seen as attempts to contain China. The recent advancements in defense technology and the decision for Canberra to purchase nuclear-powered submarines further exacerbate these tensions.
Australia's nuclear-powered submarine purchase
As part of the strengthened alliance, agreements have been made for Canberra to purchase at least three nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarines. Despite being nuclear-powered, these submarines will not carry atomic weapons but will be equipped with long-range cruise missiles. The submarine's fuel source allows them to remain submerged for extended periods and operate much quieter, enhancing their strategic advantages.