Sydney, Australia, Apr 6 (EFE).- Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, the countries of the AUKUS security alliance, agreed Wednesday to cooperate in the development of hypersonic weapons and other combat capabilities, during a virtual meeting of the three leaders.
“We … committed today to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defense innovation,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden said in a joint statement.
The leaders did not specify where these hypersonic weapons will be located or a date for their deployment.
“These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen cooperation on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities,” it added.
AUKUS was created in September to defend a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The pact included the development of nuclear submarines for Australia, leading it to scrap a longstanding $60 billion French contract for the construction of 12 diesel-powered subs, causing a diplomatic crisis.
“We are pleased with the progress in our trilateral program for Australia to establish a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability,” the leaders said.
They also underscored Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “unprovoked, unjustified, and unlawful” and reiterated their “unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion.”
The statement comes after the Pentagon revealed on Tuesday that it had tested a hypersonic missile in early March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. EFE