UK to work with US and Australia to develop hypersonic missiles

Leaders issued a joint statement on Tuesday

Related video: Mass killings in Ukrainian city Bucha are only ‘tip of the iceberg’, says White House

The UK, US and Australia have agreed to work together on both hypersonic and anti-hypersonic weaponry as the three nations reiterated their “unwavering commitment” to an international system that “respects human rights”.

The countries’ leaders, UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, US president, Joe Biden, and Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, issued a statement on Tuesday that came as a part of the Aukus military pact.

The Aukus deal, announced last September, initially focused on sharing nuclear submarine development in the Pacific as concerns over China grew.

Now the attention has turned to Russia after the invasion began in February and new areas of cooperation have been added to the deal. These include on hypersonic weapon technology, which is said to have been used recently by Vladimir Putin’s forces in Ukraine.

Mr Johnson previously suggested that the alliance could go beyond just surrounding submarines, and, on Tuesday, the trio of countries committed to “commence new trilateral co-operation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen co-operation on defence innovation.”

A woman walks by a house destroyed while her village was occupied by Russian troops in Andriivka

In a statement, the Aukus leaders said: “We reaffirmed our commitment to Aukus and to a free and open Indo-Pacific. In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reiterated our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion.”

The statement continued: “We also committed today to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defence innovation.

“These initiatives will add to our existing efforts to deepen cooperation on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.

“As our work progresses on these, and other critical defence and security capabilities, we will seek opportunities to engage allies and close partners.”

The three leaders went on to add that they were “pleased with the progress” Australia was making in the development of nuclear-powered submarines.

The initial announcement of the Aukus pact did not go down well in Paris, due to the fact that the submarine deal came at the expense of an agreement between Australia and France to provide diesel-electric boats.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in