skip to main content

AUKUS countries ink agreement to share nuclear propulsion information

Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines HMAS Waller and HMAS Dechaineux . Australia is planning to replace the class with a fleet of nuclear-powered boats. (Royal Australian Navy)

The UK and the US have signed an agreement to share naval nuclear propulsion information with a third country for the first time.

The pact was signed with Australia, and it is known as the Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement (ENNPIA). It allows Washington and London to provide Canberra with sensitive and classified information on the propulsion systems of nuclear submarines.

Australian Minister of Defence Peter Dutton, in his statement on the agreement on 22 November, described the agreement as “another important step in Australia's pursuit of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines”.

“This agreement will support Australia in completing the 18 months of intensive and comprehensive examination of the requirements underpinning the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines,” said Dutton.

“The United Kingdom and the United States will be able to share naval nuclear propulsion information with Australia, which they cannot with any other country, in the determination of the optimal pathway to acquire nuclear-powered submarines for operation by the Royal Australian Navy,” he said.

“With access to the information this agreement delivers, coupled with the decades of naval nuclear-powered experience our UK and US partners have, Australia will also be positioned to be responsible and reliable stewards of this technology,” he added.

The leaders of Australia, the UK, and the US jointly announced the creation of a security partnership known as AUKUS on 15 September. As part of the partnership, the US and the UK will assist Australia in procuring a fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...