04/06/2022, 13.35
Send to a friend

Australia, US and UK to cooperate on hypersonic missiles with China in mind

The initiative is part of AUKUS, an Australia-UK-US military pact to contain China. The three will also work together on undersea drones. Australian will spend US$ 2.6 billion to boost its missile defence. Beijing accuses Washington, London and Canberra of starting an arms race. Meanwhile, the United States is selling more weapons to Taiwan.

Canberra (AsiaNews) – Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom yesterday announced that they will develop hypersonic missiles together as well as the means to defend against them.

The initiative is part of AUKUS, the military pact the three countries signed in mid-September 2021, which many observers view as a new alliance to contain China's geopolitical rise.

First, AUKUS will allow Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines for its fleet using US technology and know-how.

The military agreement also provides for trilateral cooperation on artificial intelligence, cyber security, quantum technologies and missiles.

For AUKUS leaders, the decision to expand military collaboration on hypersonic missiles, as well as undersea drones, became necessary given current security scenarios, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK government has stressed, however, that cooperation on hypersonic missiles, capable of flying five times the speed of sound with great maneuverability, is dictated by the fact that other countries are investing in this weapon system.

The Russians claim to have used it twice in Ukraine war.

In August 2021, an experimental hypersonic missile launched into space from China circled the globe before crashing into Earth, missing its target by 40 km.

North Korea too claims to have tested a hypersonic missile.

The Australian government yesterday announced that it will spend US$ 2.6 billion to boost its missile defence. Canberra will purchase air-to-ground missiles from the United States, Norwegian-designed missiles for its warships and naval mines to protect its ports.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton noted that his country’s enhanced missile programme is a response to China’s growing military activism in the Indo-Pacific.

Today the Chinese Foreign Ministry replied saying that the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom are creating tensions in the region.

Spokesman Wang Wenbin warned Asia Pacific countries that Washington, Canberra and London are fuelling the arms race.

Dutton specifically listed China's military threats to Australia, namely the militarisation of islands in the South China Sea, the continued naval presence near Japanese waters in the East China Sea, the signing of a security agreement with the Solomon Islands. and pressure on Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the United States has just approved a new arms sale to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a “rebel province”, the third such deal since Joe Biden took office.

The equipment is meant to enable Taiwan’s Armed Forces to maintain its US-made Patriot air defence system. The US$ 95-million sale follows two other arms purchases worth US$ 750 million US$ 100 respectively.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
AUKUS, fears among the islands of the Pacific
23/09/2021 14:59
Tokyo wants to increase arms exports
30/11/2022 12:51
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55
Tokyo and Canberra sign anti-Beijing military pact
17/11/2020 15:34


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”