AUKUS deal a message to the rest of the world
The scope of the AUKUS deal will send a message to the world, says 9News Chief Political Editor Charles Croucher.
Under the deal with the US and the UK, Australia will spend up to $368 billion by 2055 to buy and build US-manufactured, nuclear-powered attack submarines to modernise its fleet in the costliest defence project in the nation's history.
Speaking live from San Diego, where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have met, Croucher explained what benefits the nuclear-powered submarines will bring.
READ MORE: The meaning behind the blue ribbons worn at the Oscars
"They are quicker, quieter, and go for longer and deeper," he said.
"The systems they have allows them to not just attack vessels but attack land as well at a periscope depth – a whole new level of weaponry Australia has ever dealt with.
"In the more intense Indo-Pacific region they are going to be necessary, in not just decades ahead but for generations ahead."
Croucher said the "gravity of the moment" of the deal's announcement was evident from
"the show" the US had put on.
"We know Americans can be flashy at times but this really was between the naval frigates that are here, the submarines that are here and then the presence of the President and the Prime Minister of the UK.
"This is to show rest of the world – by that I mean China and Russia – that there is a group of like-minded democracies that are working together to have a bigger impact, to flex a more coordinated muscle on the global stage."
Croucher said it had been amazing to witness the three nations' leaders convene to formalise the AUKUS deal.
READ MORE: US regulators say SVB customers will be made whole as second bank fails
"They were sitting around what looked like a card table, the three leaders, surrounded by advisers, officials, departmental people.
"It showed the size and the magnitude and the scale of this announcement that is being made.
"We are talking about a quarter of a trillion dollar deal that will last for decades – a generational deal."
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said the AUKUS deal marks a new chapter in Australia's alliance with the US and Britain.
Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.