Johnson, Biden and Morrison target cyber and AI defence collaboration

AUKUS pact will see nations ramp up work together on defence technology

Credit: Alamy

The new trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the US will see the three nations deepen collaboration on cyber issues and the use of technology in the defence sector.

The AUKUS partnership, announced this week by the elected leaders of the three countries, is intended to build on existing “deep defence ties, built over decades” by increasing collaboration. The goal will be to “enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability”, according to a joint statement from prime minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, and president Joe Biden. 

“These initial efforts will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities,” they added.

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In the longer term, the countries are expected to share information on nuclear defence programmes, with the UK and US supporting Australia in the development and maintenance of nuclear submarine capability. 

The agreement has been widely seen as a bid to counteract shared concerns about the growing regional power and influence of China.

“The endeavour we launch today will help sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the three leaders said. “For more than 70 years, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have worked together, along with other important allies and partners, to protect our shared values and promote security and prosperity. Today, with the formation of AUKUS, we recommit ourselves to this vision.”


Sam Trendall

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