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Singapore to welcome Australia's Aukus-class nuclear powered submarines.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Australian government on March 5, 2024, the prime ministers of Singapore and Australia convened in Melbourne for the 9th Australia-Singapore Annual Leaders' Meeting. This year's gathering coincided with Prime Minister Lee's visit to Melbourne for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Albanese. Singapore has offered to facilitate port visits for Australia's future conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines when they become operational.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of a submarine visiting Singapore. (Picture source: Image created by AI)

The AUKUS pact, established in September 2021, is a trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, aimed at enhancing defense and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

The partnership is significant for its focus on developing nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy and sharing advanced technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cyber operations, and missile technologies.

The agreement also includes the temporary basing of UK and US submarines in Australia starting in 2027, with plans for Australia to acquire several submarines from the US by the early 2030s.

The new submarines, known as SSN-AUKUS, built from a British design, are expected to arrive in Australia in the late 2030s. This initiative will significantly enhance Australia's undersea capabilities and is a notable step as Australia becomes the seventh country to be armed with nuclear-powered submarines and the second, after the UK, to share nuclear propulsion technology with the US​​.

However, the AUKUS pact has sparked a variety of reactions globally. While some Western partners in the Indo-Pacific and beyond have shown interest in joining or creating similar agreements, and responses have generally been positive, viewing the alliance as a step towards safeguarding regional stability, there has been concern over the potential for an arms race and the destabilizing effect on regional dynamics.

China, in particular, has been a vocal critic of AUKUS, describing it as a move that may violate international non-proliferation norms and destabilize the region's peace and stability​​.

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