Australia’s Well-Kept Nuclear-Submarine Secret

However abrupt Australia’s decision to scrap its French submarine project in favour of a new Anglo-American nuclear-powered successor might seem, it reflects the seriousness of Canberra’s pursuit of a strengthened deterrent against an emerging threat from China, explains Euan Graham.

This week’s dramatic decision by the Australian government to scrap an A$90 billion project to build a French-designed future submarine and replace it with an entirely new Anglo-American nuclear-powered successor was an extremely well-kept secret, blindsiding most of Canberra’s bureaucracy and political establishment. Announced as part of the wider ‘AUKUS’ tripartite security partnership, unveiled jointly by US President Joe Biden and the UK and Australian prime ministers, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, this had the air of grand theatre.

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