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Australia Expects to add Nuclear Submarines to Naval Fleet

By Anshula Mandaokar , 05 April, 2023

Australia is all set to become the seventh country in the world to introduce nuclear-powered submarines as a part of a newly brokered deal of its naval fleet between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The United States said it would sell three U.S. Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s to Australia.

According to the reports, with the so-called new Aukus partnership, the UK can also see a considerable increase in the deep sea vessels, almost doubling up to 19.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies data says that the United States has the largest nuclear-powered fleet worldwide. Half the number of nuclear-powered submarines and China almost half again. Nuclear-powered submarines are those fuelled by a nuclear reactor. It does not necessarily mean that nuclear-powered submarines are nuclear-armed, also not by diesel-electric propulsion.

The reports say the plan to bolster the naval defense of Australia comes in between western nations building up anxiety over China's plans for the Indo-Pacific region. On the other hand, Beijing steps back, criticizing the move, saying Aukus is encouraging an arms force. Wang Wenbin, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, warned in a press conference on Tuesday that all three countries are walking "further down the path of danger and error."

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Anshula Mandaokar

Team Lead - Research