Amid Aukus tensions, Britain and France strike deal to develop new missiles

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Updated: Feb 19, 2022, 04:27 PM(IST)

In this file photo, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron can be seen Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Under the so-called AUKUS pact, the United States and Britain have agreed to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines. For it, Sydney had cancelled a multibillion-dollar contract to buy diesel-electric French submarines

Britain and France have signed a deal to jointly develop new cruise and anti-ship missiles, said their defence procurement agencies and manufacturer MDBA.

Paris and London "have confirmed the launch of the preparation works for the Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon," European missile specialist MBDA said in a statement.

It comes after Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the new AUKUS defence alliance with Britain and the United States will contribute to peace, stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Under the so-called AUKUS pact, the United States and Britain have agreed to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines. For it, Sydney had cancelled a multibillion-dollar contract to buy diesel-electric French submarines.

The three countries have agreed to share information in areas including artificial intelligence, cyber and underwater defense capabilities.

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The US, Australia and Britain have insisted the diplomatic crisis wouldn’t affect their longer-term relations with France, even after Paris recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia for the first time in history because of the deal.

The alliance is widely seen as a response to Chinese militarisation in the region, particularly in the strategically important South China Sea.

Moscow and Beijing have voiced their opposition to the AUKUS alliance between Australia, Britain and the United States, saying it increased the danger of an arms race in the region.

(With inputs from agencies)

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