“We stand at a juncture in history where the hard work of increasing resistance and promoting stability is going to impact the prospects for peace for decades to come,” Biden said. Submarine and Navy destroyer at Point Loma in San Diego.
“We are showing again how democracies can deliver on our own security and prosperity,” Biden said. “And not just for us, but for the whole world.”
Officials said the deal is an important one, as Australia will spend more than $100 billion over the next several decades to buy submarines and build its own industrial capacity, as well as to increase the shipbuilding capacity of the US and Britain .
The three leaders met in person for the first time, huddled behind closed doors before a public ceremony in which each explained the historic importance of the accord and where Biden projected the United States as a stable force in the world .
He said, ‘We can always be trusted.
Biden said that the historic agreement is important for the security of the Indo-Pacific region. “This first project is only the beginning,” he said. “The more partnerships, the more possibilities lie ahead for peace and security in the region.”
Looking at his counterparts, he said, “I am proud to be your shipmate.”
The agreement aims to enhance the military capabilities of US allies in the Indo-Pacific region, deepen ties between the Australian and US militaries, and enhance the position of US forces in the region.
The arrangement, which comes as part of the AUKUS security agreement – short for Australia-UK-US – is the culmination of a year and a half of negotiations. The US will initially sell Australia three Virginia-class attack submarines, with an option to buy two more at a cost of around $3 billion each. The first submarine is targeted to be delivered by 2032.
After that, Australia will buy a British-designed nuclear-powered submarine, called the SSN-AUKUS, which will incorporate substantial American technology. It will be built in the UK, with Australia eventually developing the capability to build its own version in the 2040s.
Officials said the Virginia-class submarines will be deployed to Australia for the first time later this decade, so Australian crews can train on the subs and enhance the US presence in the region. He said that British submarines would also be deployed for the same purpose. Australian citizens and service members will join the US and British Navies this year to begin training.
Australian Prime Minister Albanese said the deal “represents the largest single investment in Australia’s defense capability in our entire history.” Sunak called it “the most important multilateral defense partnership in generations”.,
“It demonstrates the ultimate commitment to allies – taking the crown jewels of America’s technology and sharing them with Australia,” National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters.
The only other country with which the United States has shared submarines is the United Kingdom, and that happened about 65 years ago.
The deal marked the latest geopolitical maneuver at a time of global turmoil, as Russia invades Ukraine and China tries hard to expand its influence.
“Russia’s war on Ukraine has underscored the need for us to invest massively in our defense industrial base and for our allies to do the same,” said a senior administration official speaking on condition of anonymity before the announcement. “Aucus is just an expression of the need to do so.”
The expansion in military force is evident all over the world. Germany has increased its defense budget to 2 percent of GDP, Finland and Sweden are pursuing NATO membership and Japan is significantly increasing its defense budget and committed to combat capabilities.
When word of the deal first emerged in late 2021, it angered the French leaders, who had their own agreement to supply submarine technology to Australia, an arrangement favored by the US–UK deal. Biden spent months with France attempting to heal the rift, including hosting a state visit from President Emmanuel Macron.
The AUKUS deal is important to Biden, who has sought to reorient US foreign policy towards confronting China. Tensions with Beijing have flared periodically during his presidency, most recently when Biden ordered the US military to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that was flying over the continental United States.
Biden is now looking to talk to Xi to reduce tensions. “President Biden has expressed a desire to have a telephone conversation with President Xi when he is back and coming out of the National People’s Congress,” Sullivan said, referring to the annual legislative convention in China that concluded on Monday. “
“I can’t give you a date because there’s no date set,” Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One.
During a bilateral meeting with Sunak, Biden said he planned to speak with Xi soon, but did not necessarily specify when.
Asked about Xi’s recent comments that the United States was leading the “containment, encirclement and suppression” of China, Biden said he was not concerned that Xi would view the AUKUS agreement as aggression. .
Biden also announced on Monday a $4.6 billion investment in the production and maintenance of the submarines over the next five years.
Sunak on Monday pledged to increase his country’s military funding by $6 billion over the next two years. Some of the money will go towards the AUKUS deal, while other money will be used to replenish Britain’s ammunition stockpile which has been depleted by helping supply Ukraine.
US officials view Australia’s multi-decade commitment, Sullivan said, as “a long-term strategic bet on the United States”.
AUKUS, he said, embodies Biden’s view that allies in the Atlantic and Pacific should be connected. Sullivan said, “This is Oakes at the heart of it.” “It is tying the United Kingdom, a European power, Australia, a Pacific power, with the United States as the glue holding this new partnership together.”
Selling the submarines also reflects an emphasis on undersea capabilities, an area of profit for the United States and its allies.
The president wants to press that advantage, Sullivan said, adding that doing so “is critical to his vision of making sure that we modernize our posture, our approach and our capabilities in the Indo-Pacific to meet the challenges and making adjustments.” We find them today, not as they were 30 or 40 years ago.”
Still, Sullivan said, the United States is not planning to expand the agreement to other allies. He framed the agreement more as a reflection of American interest in helping an ally than in broadening its efforts in the region.
Sullivan said, “There are people who are suggesting that the United States has some Asian NATO in mind, and they do so in an attempt to suggest that we have some grand master plan regarding NATO allies in Asia.” ” “And it’s not quite right. It’s not something we’re looking to do.”
Nevertheless, many officials cite the more aggressive stance taken by Xi as a reason for the United States and its allies strengthening their position in the region.
A senior administration official said, “What we have seen is a series of provocative steps taken by China over the last five to 10 years under the leadership of Xi Jinping.” “I would reject the idea that allies and partners, all committed to working constructively with China where possible, are taking steps that are designed to somehow contain China. Are. It is an attempt to protect and secure the operating system of the Indo-Pacific.”
US officials stressed that Australia is expected to pay a “proportionate share” to US shipyards to build and maintain the submarines.
Some critics have expressed concern that the agreement could overwhelm US shipyards and make it harder for the US to maintain its own fleet. US officials downplayed those concerns, saying the agreement also marked a renewed commitment for the United States to strengthen its own submarines.
“We will grow the US attack submarine fleet in the coming years, and part of the submarine upgrade is to put more boats in the water,” Sullivan said. “We’re not just going to put three boats in the hands of Australia and that’s it.”