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The UK has commissioned three local firms to produce a state-of-the-art nuclear-powered submarine for the AUKUS initiative.
On Sunday, the UK Ministry of Defense announced that BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, and Babcock have been awarded a £4 billion ($4.9 billion) contract. These submarines, labeled SSN-AUKUS, are set to be “the most powerful attack submarines ever operated” by the Royal Navy, promising to “combine world-leading sensors, design and weaponry in one vessel.” They are expected to be operational for the UK by the late 2030s, with Australia receiving its submarines in the early 2040s.
The AUKUS partnership, formed by the UK, US, and Australia, aims to bolster defense efforts in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in light of rising challenges from China. Washington plans to extend its support to Canberra by offering up to five Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines by the early 2030s.
Additionally, Western Australia will see the deployment of US and UK submarines for training purposes as early as 2027.
China, however, criticizes the AUKUS pact, viewing it as a move that fosters a “Cold War mentality” and threatens regional stability.