Pact with US, Britain, will see Australia scrap French sub deal

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Pact with US, Britain, will see Australia scrap French sub deal

While sharing AI, cyber security, quantum computing and other information.

Australia, the United States and Britain jointly announced a new trilateral security partnership that will see Australia scrap a multi-billion dollar program to build French-designed submarines and build a nuclear-powered fleet with US and British technology instead.

Australia will use the American and British technology to replace its existing Collins class submarines with a type more suitable to the deteriorating strategic environment.

The new three-nation security pact would be known as AUKUS and will likely to be seen by China as a bid to counter its regional influence, especially in the contested South China Sea.

US President Joe Biden said that the three countries would share advanced technologies in a working group with Britain and Australia as part of moves to counter China.

The AUKUS working group will enable the three countries to share information in areas including artificial intelligence, cyber security, quantum computing and underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities, Biden said.

Biden added that an 18-month consultation process would immediately begin to map out the logistics of the collaboration.

Australia in 2016 selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new submarine fleet to replace its more than two-decades-old Collins submarines.

It has been one of the world's most lucrative defence deals, but has been beset by issues and delays due to Canberra's requirement that the majority of the manufacturing and components be sourced locally.

The new submarines are set to be built in Adelaide, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

French officials were not immediately available for comment.

This story was updated to confirm details of AUKUS following a joint press conference by the three countries at 7am AEST.

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