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Why AUKUS is good at keeping China at bay in the Indo-Pacific | Latest India News

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While France may have legitimate reasons to be angry with Australia for reneging on the submarine deal, the emerging image in the Indo-Pacific clearly shows that the submarines of the AIP would have been a half measure to contain a belligerent China under President Xi Jinping.

New Delhi Paris is unhappy that Australia canceled $ 59 billion independent air-powered submarines (AIP) deal and switched to nuclear weapon attack submarines Conventional Agreement (SSN) as part of the AUKUS pact with the United States and the United Kingdom signed in September of last year.

While France may have legitimate reasons to be angry with Australia for reneging on the submarine deal, the emerging image in the Indo-Pacific clearly shows that the submarines of the AIP would have been a half measure to contain a belligerent China under President Xi Jinping. Considering the strategic environment of the Indo-Pacific region and the South China Sea in particular, the Australian choice of an SSN is the best option to combat a rapidly growing PLA navy and arsenal. Chinese medium-range ballistic missile.

The state of the strategic game is such that India also has no choice but to go for nuclear-powered submarines and long-range delivery platforms, as this is that it is only a matter of time that the Chinese carrier force will patrol the Indian Ocean. With two nuclear submarines already operational and the third under construction, India is increasing its influence should the PLA decide to deploy heavy-handed tactics on the 3,488 km Real Line of Control (LAC), as it does. did so in May 2020.

If we forget the noise caused by Australia scuttling the agreement on French submarines, it is not very difficult to understand why Canberra chose the nuclear option, because it is a brake on ambitions from China to Taiwan. The signing of a security pact between Japan and Australia, once adversaries of World War II, with the objective of convergence in the Indo-Pacific is also a step in the direction of asking China to repair its aggression. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agreement “will support a larger and more complex practical engagement between the Australian Defense Force and the Japanese Self-Defense Force”. Juxtapose the new security pact with AUKUS and Quad and a larger image emerges on the Indo-Pacific with India having a logistics agreement with all Quad partners.

Rather than considering AUKUS from a French commercial perspective, Australian conventional nuclear-powered attack submarines will be a response to the massive deployment of the DF-21 and DF-26 ballistic missile series by the PLA on the east coast of China to prevent US carrier planes from entering the South China Sea in a worst-case scenario over Taiwan. Given the range of these ballistic missiles, the US aircraft carrier force will have to operate outside the first island chain after China, or be in the sights of these PLA delivery platforms. . While the United States and Russia have been bound by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty since 1987, before its suspension in 2019, the PLA built a massive arsenal of intermediate-range ballistic missiles with its propaganda media dubbing the DF-21 and DF-26 as Carrier Killer and Guam Killer Weapons.

With the advent of Australian nuclear submarines, Chinese missile sites on the east coast will be threatened by underwater attack platforms that can remain underwater for months together in the South China Sea or in the Indo-Pacific. The point is, UKUS is a game-changer for the Indo-Pacific, as even the latest AIP diesel submarines have to surface, in effect betraying their positions, within weeks to recharge their batteries. Thus, from a strategic point of view, the Australian nuclear attack submarines equipped with conventional ballistic missiles as a deterrent will allow the American aircraft carriers to operate between the Chinese coast and the first chain of islands and also to uphold the laws of the seas and the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. . As China threatens Taiwan on a daily basis by violating its air defense identification zone, it is up to the United States to step up SSN production for Australia as time is running out for Taipei and the security of Indo- Peaceful.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011 Hatchette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014). Recipient of the K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Indian Defense and Strategic Analyzes (IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.
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