Sunak Reportedly Confident Australia Will Choose British-Made Submarines Over American Ones
The Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) conducts a brief stop for personnel in the Norwegian Sea off the coast of Tromso, Norway, Aug. 21, 2020.InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reportedly told a cabinet meeting to expect a positive outcome regarding his next week’s journey to San Diego to unveil a deal on the sale of British-made nuclear-powered submarines to Australia within the AUKUS security pact with the United States.On Monday, Sunak will travel to the US to meet with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden. Following the meeting, Australia is expected to announce which submarines it would purchase as part of the AUKUS defense pact. Citing insiders with knowledge of the developments, the Guardian reported on Wednesday that Sunak has expressed his confidence to ministers that London had succeeded in its bid to sell its submarines to Australia. Australia is choosing between British-made Astute-class nuclear-powered submarines and American-designed Virginia-class submarines, a senior minister told the newspaper, adding that Sunak had told the meeting that he was delighted by the outcome of the negotiations, which have been going on for 18 months. “The deal has definitely gone our way. The prime minister was buzzing about it when he told ministers, smiling and bouncing on the balls of his feet,” the minister said. Another source familiar with the negotiations has also told the newspaper that Australia is expected to choose British-designed submarines; however, any final submarine under Monday’s deal would make heavy use of US technologies. Earlier on Wednesday, US media reported Australia is expected to procure up to five US Virginia-class submarines in the 2030s. Officials have alleged that a new class of submarines with British designs and American technologies would be built within the AUKUS pact in the late 2030s. AsiaBeijing Says AUKUS Fuels Arms Race in Asia-Pacific, Undermines Nuclear Non-Proliferation1 February, 12:16 GMTAustralia, the US, and the UK announced a new trilateral defense partnership called AUKUS in September 2021.The first initiative announced under the AUKUS defense pact was the development of nuclear-powered submarine technology for the Royal Australian Navy, so the Australian government decided to abandon its agreement, estimated at $66 billion at that time, with France’s Naval Group company for the construction of diesel-electric submarines.