By Invitation

Australia's submarine deal - some hard questions

Among other things, it will take a long time before the nuclear-powered boats can be launched, raising issues about their
relevance by the time they are delivered

US President Joe Biden holding a video call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sept 15, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
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It is rare for Australian defence policy to make headlines around the world. It is even rarer for it to keep making headlines for weeks. But this is what has happened with the awkwardly named Aukus bombshell that was detonated last month by US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

They appeared online together to launch a new strategic grouping between three old allies, and to announce that their first big project would be to provide nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian navy. This is a big deal, because America has never shared nuclear propulsion technology with any except Britain before.

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