SYLLABUS: GS MAINS PAPER 2
The Biden administration has announced a new trilateral security partnership for Indo-Pacific between the US, the UK and Australia in a joint virtual press conference.
● It is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States. Under the pact, the US and UK agree to help Australia to develop and deploy nuclear submarines. It will be built in Adelaide, Australia.
●AUKUS will focus towards advancing interests in the indo-pacific region.
● AUKUS will strive over the next 18 months with nuclear propulsion technology.
● These are conventionally armed submarines that are powered by nuclear reactors.
WHY SUCH A PARTNERSHIP?
● Australia and China relationship has soured over the last few years.
●Australia banned chinese telecom and China retaliated by imposing tariffs on Australia exports.
●Australia has sought to strengthen its partnerships with India, the US, and the UK to strategically balance out China.
●In recent years, South China Sea and the strategic environment of the Indo-Pacific has been disturbed by China’s assertiveness.
●In future, every nation in the world depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific.
● Nuclear Powered Submarines: Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines with help from the UK and the US.
It is significant step because US sharing this kind of technology on nuclear powered submarines had been done only once before- with the UK.
● Indo-Pacific: The main objective of this alliance is focusing on Indo-Pacific. AUKUS will focus on advancing strategies in the Indo-Pacific region. Its main orientation is an alliance against China’s assertive action in South China Sea.
●QUAD in Indo-Pacific: The Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) is not a security grouping but the AUKUS brings a security supplement to the Quad. Present, the Quad and AUKUS will move on parallel tracks. In future, the two could merge.
According to Arzan Tarapore, a south Asia security expert, “if the partnership lives up to a promise it could be a game changer for the region.
●AUKUS will involve a new architecture of meeting and engagements between three countries.
●The AUKUS partnership will also involves the cooperation across emerging technologies like AI,quantum technologies as well as undersea capabilities.
ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER SUBMARINES
● Conventional diesel-engine submarines have batteries that keep and propel- though not very fast- the vessel under water. The life of these batteries can vary from a few hours to few days.
●The New Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines have additional fuel cells that allow them to stay under water for longer and move faster than the conventional vessels.
●Both conventional and AIP submarines need to come to the surface to recharge their batteries using the diesel engine.
The fuel cells of AIP can only be charged at on-stations, not while at sea.
● India is among the six nations that have Nuclear power Submarines. The other five are the US, the UK, Russia, France and China.
● The first Indian nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant was commissioned in 2016.
●A second Arihant class submarine, INS Arighat was secretly launched in 2017 and is likely to be commissioned soon.
●The INS Arihant is now classified as a strategic strike nuclear submarine, which means it is a nuclear powered ballistic submarine. INS Arihant is important because it completes India’s nuclear triad, which means that the country has the capacity to launch nuclear missiles from land, aircraft and submarine.
●AUKUS security alliance troubled the relations between France and Australia. Australia had cancelled the $65 billion worth deal signed in 2016.
● The AUKUS grouping promote nuclear arms race.
●It may create a cold war like scenario. Experts believed that these types of new alliances are similar to cold war days
●Unpredictable decision of America- The French government termed this move of US brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision.
The new partnership would allow the three countries to sharpen their focus on an increasingly complicated part of the world. It will move a step closer to China in Indo-Pacific region.