US, UK, Australia, advance defense agreement enactment

Washington, Dec 1 (EFE).- Defense officials from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia announced Friday in California new steps to implement the tripartite AUKUS security agreement, among which is the development of artificial intelligence technologies and quantum navigation.

“Time and time again, AUKUS demonstrates that we are stronger together,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after a meeting with his counterparts to evaluate the implementation process of the pact, which includes the sale of several nuclear-powered submarines to Australia over the next few years.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said progress is being made in this front, such as the graduation of six Australian officers from the Nuclear Energy School managed by the US Navy.

However, the meeting served above all to develop what is known as the “second pillar” of the AUKUS agreement, which refers to cooperation in advanced military capabilities: quantum navigation, space radars or electronic warfare, among others.

“When we look back at the importance of today’s meeting, we will see it as the critical moment, the turning point in the progress of the second pillar,” Marles said.

In this sense, the allies announced the development of a series of experimental exercises with autonomous weapons systems in the waters of the Indo-Pacific, which will begin next year, or the deployment of artificial intelligence algorithms to improve the processing of data from their sonobuoys.

They also opted for the promotion of a radar system to identify threats in deep space, whose bases will be distributed among the three countries, and the development of quantum technology to improve submarine navigation.

Those responsible also announced the creation of a series of innovation challenges, which will be held at the beginning of 2024, to spur the development of new military technologies in the field of electronic warfare.

The AUKUS pact was announced in 2021 to try to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific, and has been harshly criticized by Beijing, which has accused the trio of countries of fueling an arms race in the region. EFE


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