Australia, UK, and U.S. to Develop Hypersonic Weapons Under AUKUS Pact

Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States will jointly develop hypersonic weapons and “electronic warfare capabilities” as part of their AUKUS pact.

The three governments announced in a joint statement on April 5 that they will “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 defense innovation.”

A hypersonic missile can deliver nuclear weapons and can fly at low altitudes at more than five times the speed of sound. It is also designed to be maneuverable, making it harder to track and defend against.

The announcement came weeks after Russia said it had launched hypersonic missiles for the first time in its war in Ukraine.

The United States also tested its own hypersonic missile last month, but it kept details secret due to concerns of antagonizing Russia amid the invasion on Ukraine.

“When we bring together the technical knowledge and capabilities of our three countries, we can achieve a huge amount to help keep ourselves and our allies and partners safe,” UK National Security Adviser Stephen Lovegrove said.

“In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s more important now than ever that allies work together to defend democracy, international law, and freedom around the world,” Lovegrove further said.

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