The governments of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – known as AUKUS – have decided to collaborate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities.
The AUKUS leaders – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison – said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they were pleased with the progress of the program for conventionally armed submarines for Australia, and that the allies would cooperate in other areas as well.
“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,” they stated.
“These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen cooperation on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.
As our work progresses on these and other critical defense and security capabilities, we will seek opportunities to engage allies and close partners,” the partnering countries said.
The United States and Australia already have a hypersonic weapon program called SCIFiRE, and while the United Kingdom would not join that program at this moment, the three countries will collaborate on research and development in the area to expand their choices.
“In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reiterated our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion,” the leaders said, underlining that they also reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.