Fleet of nuclear submarines will be sent by Britain to Australia as a warning to China
- Britain is to send a fleet of nuclear submarines to Australia port of Perth
- Deployment is seen as a warning to China in the Asia-Pacific region
- Move is part of AUKUS (Australia, UK and United States) security alliance
Britain is to send a fleet of nuclear submarines to the Pacific in a decisive move to thwart Chinese aggression in the region.
The dramatic decision could see UK subs based in Australia until 2040, operating within striking distance of China.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of the Armed Forces, will agree the arrangement at a naval conference in Sydney next week. Assigning submarines to patrol the South China Sea will be Britain’s most assertive move yet against Beijing.
According to reports in Australia, Royal Navy submarines would be based at Perth on the country’s western coast and Australian submariners would be incorporated into British crews to improve their skills.
British nuclear-powered attack submarine HMS Astute at HMAS Stirling Royal Australian Navy base in Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 29 October 2021. Britain is to send a fleet of nuclear submarines to the Pacific in a decisive move to thwart Chinese aggression in the region
Basing the Royal Navy boats thousands of miles from UK shores is part of the AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom and United States) security alliance.
AUKUS was set up last year primarily to confront Chinese military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific. Australia has become embroiled in a trade war and diplomatic stand-off with China. The deepening of defence ties with the UK is likely to cause further outrage with the Communist regime, which is vehemently opposed to AUKUS.
The Royal Navy declined to say last night how many of its submarines could be relocated to Australia, as all operational details surrounding Britain’s sub-surface fleet are classified.
The ‘Pacific tilt’ was signalled last year as part of the MoD’s Integrated Review.
The review set the target for the UK to become ‘the European partner with the broadest and most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific’.
But given that China possesses the world’s biggest navy, some questioned the merits of such a deployment, arguing Britain’s boats would be massively outnumbered and outgunned.
Last night the MoD said: ‘It is UK policy that we do not comment on matters relating to submarine activity or operations.’
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