Paris: In a major development, France has joined the previously tri-national AUKUS submarine program, reported Naval News. Notably, the French government is yet to issue an official statement in this regard.
Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United states are already part of the AUKUS submarine programme. The expected cost of the project is 368 billion dollars. As per the report by Naval News, the French Navy could receive up to four submarines under the plan.
The project aims to deliver a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines for the member countries. However, it is still not clear whether the French warships will be exactly like their Anglo-Saxon counterparts.
On March 14, some images were released of the AUKUS submarines. These images reportedly resemble the Barracuda class submarine which will enter the service with the French Navy soon. As per reports, some of these submarines will be built in a new facility exactly halfway between UK’s Southampton and Cherbourg in France.
Notably, the AUKUS submarine deal was announced on September 18, 2021, in a joint meeting by British, US and Australian leaders. On March 13 this year, the US, the UK and Australia revealed details of the project aiming to counter China‘s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
As per the AUKUS deal, Australia is likely to get at three nuclear-powered submarines from the US. The member nations of the AUKUS deal will also work to create a new fleet using cutting-edge technology, including UK-made Rolls-Royce reactors, reported BBC.
However, China has time and again criticised the naval deal. Earlier, China’s UN mission accused the members nations of the AUKUS deal of flouting nuclear non-proliferation efforts. However, US President Joe Biden said that the deal would focus on strengthening peace in the region. Notably, submarines built under the project will be nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed.
Source : TimesNow