Aukus Pact: USA, Great Britain and Australia work on hypersonic missiles

The move comes after Russia used the weapons in Ukraine (Image: Reuters/AP/Rex)

Britain will work with two of its key allies to develop hypersonic and anti-hypersonic weapons, it has been announced.

The country on Tuesday announced the joint move with the US and Australia while reaffirming its “unwavering commitment” to an international system that “respects human rights”.

It comes after the three countries agreed on a so-called “Aukus” military pact last year that sparked anger in France.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a joint statement Tuesday night outlining an expansion of the move.

Originally, the pact covered submarines, but on Tuesday the trio pledged to ‘start new trilateral cooperation in hypersonic and counter-hypersonic and electronic warfare, as well as expand information sharing and deepen cooperation on defense innovation’.

It comes after the Russian military boasted of using the Kinzhal hypersonic missile in Ukraine – believed to be the first time such a weapon has been used in combat.

In their statement, Aukus leaders said, “We have reaffirmed our commitment to Aukus and to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

An artistic concept of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) shows the hypersonic missile after launch from a B-52 bomber, encapsulated in a rocket accelerating it to hypersonic speeds. Artist rendering of Lockheed Martin.

An artist’s conception of a hypersonic missile after launch from a B-52 bomber (Image: Shutterstock)

The Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile is fired from the guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea in this still from video released July 19, 2019. Russian Defense Ministry/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY . NO RESALE. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT

Russia to test a hypersonic cruise missile from the White Sea in 2019 (Image: Reuters)

“In the face of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes without coercion.”

They continued, “We also committed today to launch new trilateral cooperation on hypersonic and counter-hypersonic and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as expand information sharing and deepen cooperation on defense innovation.

“These initiatives will complement our existing efforts to deepen collaboration in the areas of cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional underwater capabilities.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew Parsons/UPI/Shutterstock (12071330e) (Left to right) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden pose for a photo at the Carbis Bay Hotel on June 12, 2021 , during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK. Members and guests attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK, Carbis Bay - 13 June 2021 - 9706881

(Left to right) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden together in Cornwall last summer (Image: Shutterstock)

Metro Graphics - Kyiv Battke Map 05.04

The latest troop movements in Ukraine (Image: Metro.co.uk)

“As our work on this and other critical defense and security capabilities progresses, we will explore opportunities to engage allies and close partners.”

The trio claimed they were “pleased with the progress” Australia is making in developing nuclear submarines.

The first announcement had sparked outrage in Paris, as the submarine deal came at the expense of a lucrative deal between Australia and France to supply diesel-electric boats.

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MORE: What is a hypersonic missile like the one Russia is deploying in Ukraine?

https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/05/aukus-pact-us-uk-and-australia-to-work-on-hypersonic-missiles-16411565/ Aukus Pact: USA, Great Britain and Australia work on hypersonic missiles

Justin Scacco

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