AUKUS Update

Ministry of Defence written statement – made am ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Defence

Two and a half years ago, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia launched the ground-breaking new strategic defence and security partnership, AUKUS.

As we have seen through recent events, the world has become more dangerous. Against an increasingly contested and volatile landscape, defence partnerships like AUKUS have become critically important in ensuring the UK and our allies maintain a strategic advantage.

For over a century, AUKUS nations have stood shoulder to shoulder, along with other allies and partners, to help sustain peace, stability, and prosperity around the world.

On 8 April, along with my Australian and United States counterparts, I announced that AUKUS nations, having made sufficient progress trilaterally, are now ready to begin consultations with additional countries regarding areas where they can contribute to, and benefit from, this historic work under Pillar 2 (Advanced Capabilities). While our work on conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines under Pillar 1 will remain trilateral.

Partners have always been clear on the intent to engage additional nations in Pillar Two projects as the work progresses. In identifying collaboration opportunities, we will consider factors such as technological innovation, financing, industrial strengths, ability to adequately protect sensitive data and information, and impact on promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Furthermore, the potential collaborations will complement and build on the close bilateral relationships that all three AUKUS nations have with other countries.

Therefore, Australia, the UK and US are considering the potential for involving Japan in some elements of the Pillar Two programme. Pillar Two includes quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy, cyber, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities, and electronic warfare capabilities, supported by innovation and information sharing.

The UK, Australia, and the United States are committed to continued openness and transparency on AUKUS. This is another significant leap for the partnership, and I look forward to keeping the House updated on progress.

A copy of the full Defence Ministers’ statement has been placed in the Library of the House.

AUKUS Policy Paper (docx, 21.6KB)