Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, expressed strong optimism on Friday regarding the US deal to supply nuclear-powered submarines to his country. He conveyed his confidence and revealed recent discussions with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the matter.
Austin, along with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, is currently in Australia for the annual AUSMIN dialogue, during which they will focus on the progress of the submarine deal, regional security, and clean energy initiatives. The agreement entails the US providing three nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.
Despite some objections from certain US lawmakers, Prime Minister Albanese remains steadfast in his belief that the deal will come to fruition. He cites discussions he had at the NATO summit earlier this month, which further bolstered his confidence in the cooperation.
The deal represents a significant step for Australia and is expected to come at a cost of up to $2 billion over a span of 30 years. The investment aims to enhance Australia’s long-range strike capabilities and domestic missile production, a strategic response to China’s growing military build-up in the region.
During the AUSMIN summit, both the US and Australia will also address concerns over China’s security ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made it clear that Washington is committed to defending its allies against China’s assertive and bullying behaviour.
With the bilateral discussions at the AUSMIN dialogue, Australia and the US are reaffirming their commitment to regional security, strengthening alliances, and countering challenges posed by China’s military expansion. The joint efforts between the two nations aim to foster stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region while upholding shared values and interests.