President Joe Biden and the leaders of Australia and the United Kingdom on Monday announced that Australia will purchase nuclear-powered attack submarines from the U.S. to modernize its fleet amid growing concern about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.
Biden flew to San Diego to appear with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as they hailed an 18-month-old nuclear partnership given the acronym AUKUS — for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The partnership, announced in 2021, enables Australia to access nuclear-powered submarines, which are stealthier and more capable than conventionally powered vessels, as a counterweight to China’s military buildup.
Biden, appearing sensitive to tensions with China and its criticism of the deal, stressed that the submarines are “nuclear powered, not nuclear armed.”
Pictures by cinematographer Tim Myers ACS on assignment for ABC Australia.