UK to Hand Over Fleet of Nuclear Submarines to Australia Aiming to Deter China, Report Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom will deploy a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia in a bid to contain China's influence in the region, UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The head of UK armed forces, Tony Radakin, is expected to reach an agreement on the issue at a naval conference in Sydney next week, thereby accomplishing London's commitment under the AUKUS security alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, according to the newspaper.
The submarines will be stationed on the west coast of Australia in the city of Perth until 2024 to carry out patrol operations. Australian submarine officers will be integrated into the UK crew to enhance their skills, the newspaper added.
The Royal Navy has declined to disclose how many of its submarines may be dispatched to Australia saying that all operational details regarding the UK submarine fleet are classified. The UK defense ministry has also refused to comment on the issue, the Daily Mail said.
The AUKUS partnership, established in September 2021, aims at providing Australia with its own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, with at least eight submarines planned to be delivered. Russia and China have raised concerns about the security challenges in the region stemming from the AUKUS establishment, saying that could result in the collapse of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
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