0.1355
900 319 0030
x

The AUKUS Agreement

iasparliament Logo
September 17, 2021

Why in news?

The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia announced a new trilateral security partnership called the AUKUS

What is the agreement about?

  • The agreement aims to ensure that there will be enduring freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Under the agreement, America and Britain proposed to transfer technology to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia within 18 months.
  • With this Australia becomes the second nation after U.K. that the U.S. has ever shared its nuclear submarine technology with.
  • The submarines are to be conventionally armed and are powered are powered by nuclear reactors.
  • It will give Australia naval heft in the Pacific, where China has been particularly aggressive.
  • The partnership complements several pre-existing similar arrangements for the region like Five Eyes intelligence cooperation initiative, ASEAN, Quad, etc.

The Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing alliance consisting of the US, UK, Australia, Canada & New Zealand. The origins of the Five Eyes can be traced back to WW II

What makes nuclear submarines so important?

  • A nuclear-powered submarine is classified as an “SSN” under the US Navy hull classification system.
  • Since SSN’s are propelled by a nuclear-powered engine rather than by batteries, they don’t have to emerge on the surface except to replenish supplies for the crew.
  • SSNs are also able to move faster underwater than the conventional submarines.
  • They have the capability to go into the South China Sea at a higher speed without being detected.

What is the fuss over the agreement?

  • New Zealand has announced that under its 1984 nuclear-free zone policy, Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would not be allowed into the former’s territorial waters.
  • France is also upset with Australia upon cancellation of the earlier struck deal worth $90 billion of conventional submarines.

Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express

 

Quick Facts

India’s nuclear-powered submarines

  • India is among the six nations that have SSNs.
  • The other five are the US, the UK, Russia, France and China.
  • In 1987, the Soviet-built K-43 Charlie-class SSN was leased to the Indian Navy and was rechristened INS Chakra
  • In 2012 India got another Russian SSN called INS Chakra 2 on a 10-year lease.
  • India commissioned the first Indian nuclear submarine, INS Arihant in 2016.
  • A second Arihant-class submarine, INS Arighat, was secretly launched in 2017.
  • INS Arihant is now classified as a Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine or SSBN which means it is a nuclear-powered ballistic submarine.
  • INS Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad which means that the country has the capacity to launch nuclear missiles from land, aircraft, and submarine.
Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.

ARCHIVES

MONTH/YEARWISE ARCHIVES

Upsc Mains 2022