AUKUS Alliance

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    • Recently, leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States met  at a  US  naval base  as a  part of AUKUS.

    About

    • AUKUS is a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS).
    • Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.
    • The pact also includes cooperation on advanced cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic, electronic warfare, innovation and information sharing.

    Significance:

    • AUKUS aims for freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea.
    • AUKUS partnership is signed to bolster Australia’s naval power in the Indo-Pacific region as a challenge to  the regional hegemonic ambitions of China.
    • The operationalisation of this security partnership will lead to closer military coordination among the participating nations in the region.
    • China’s  encirclement of  India can be partially mitigated by AUKUS.
    • India may derive secondary benefits from having  top of the class  military know-how in the region .

    Challenges: 

    • Many of its regional partners such as Indonesia oppose Australian  operating nuclear attack submarines.
    • Virginia class submarines are worlds most potent in terms of capabilities many U.S. policymakers are sceptical about the sale.
    • Integration of three  different systems will prove difficult. 
    • The U.S.’s stringent export control and protocol regime could spoil the technology transfer agreement, particularly in areas related to undersea capabilities and electronic warfare.

    Implications for India:

    • India could obtain a better deal from the French who are aggrieved because of Australia cancelling its submarine order.
    • The submarines present India a huge opportunity for coordination during joint military exercises.
    • There is a possibility of crowding of nuclear attack submarines in the Eastern Indian Ocean which could erode India’s regional pre-eminence. 

    Source: IE