As part of the AUKUS initiative with Australia and the US, the UK has given three UK businesses a 4 billion pound ($4.9 billion) contract to design and build an attack submarine powered by nuclear energy.
- AUKUS established in 2021, the AUKUS is intended to be a strategic partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States to bolster their allied deterrence and defense capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
- The trilateral partnership, which builds on their decades-long security cooperation, has two pillars.
- Pillar I revolves around the acquisition and development of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy;
- Pillar II calls for collaboration on advanced capabilities that will involve technology and information sharing;
- It is designed to equip Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).
- In total, Australia will end up with eight of the new nuclear submarines, called SSN-AUKUS.
- Those submarines will be based on a British design but have American technology or an American combat system.
- The deal marks the first time the US has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally other than the UK.