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Pact with U.S., Britain, will see Australia scrap French sub deal-media By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. president Joe Biden makes remarks for labor unions, in Washington’s East Room of the White House, Washington, U.S.A, September 8th, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Australia, the United States and Britain are expected to jointly announce a new trilateral security partnership that will see Australia scrap a multi-billion dollar program to build French-designed submarines and build a nuclear-powered fleet with U.S. and British technology instead, Australian media reported.

According to the White House, Joe Biden will deliver a five-minute (2100 GMT) speech on a national security issue. Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson from Australia would join him virtually.

Johnson’s staff said that Johnson would give a broadcasted statement about a critical national security topic at 2100 GMT.

ABC News Australia said that the Australian government would be using British and American technology to replace Collins-class submarines.

The new security agreement between three nations would be called AUKUS. China will most likely view it as an attempt to curb its influence in Asia, particularly the South China Sea.

Politico reports that Biden is planning to reveal a plan to share high-tech technologies with Australia and Britain in an announcement on Wednesday. This was part of a strategy to combat China.

Politico quoted an official from the White House and a staffer at the Congress as saying the AUKUS would allow three nations to communicate in the areas of artificial intelligence and cyber.

According to one source, Britain and the United States would exchange their expertise on how to sustain nuclear-defense infrastructure as part of this pact.

Australia chose Naval Group in France to rebuild its submarine fleet, which will replace Collins’s more than 20-decade-old Collins.

This has been one the most profitable defense contracts in the world, however it has faced delays and issues due to Canberra’s demand that all manufacturing and component components must be made locally.

French officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

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