Biden touts nuclear-powered submarine plan for Australia

STORY: Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak endorsed plans for the so-called AUKUS project, first announced in 2021, at the U.S. naval base in San Diego, California, principal home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Under the deal, the United States intends to sell Australia three U.S. Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines, which are built by General Dynamics, in the early 2030s, with an option to buy two more if needed.

At the ceremony in San Diego, Biden said the multi-stage project would culminate with British and Australian production and operation of a new class of submarine - SSN-AUKUS - a "trilaterally developed" vessel based on Britain's next-generation design that would be built in Britain and Australia and include "cutting edge" U.S. technologies.

Biden stressed that the submarines would be nuclear-powered, not nuclear armed.