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British subs could patrol Indo-Pacific, says UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace


“Pulsing” means repeated visits; he said it was likely that the UK would continue to have its Astute subs visit Australia and operate in the region, as one did last year.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has floated the idea of British subs patrolling the Indo-Pacific in talks with Australian counterpart Richard Marles.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has floated the idea of British subs patrolling the Indo-Pacific in talks with Australian counterpart Richard Marles.Credit:Latika Bourke

He said that when the last of the Astutes were completed, it would be ideal for the AUKUS trio to develop the next generation of submarines that was common to all navies.

“It might have a bit of all three of us on it, so it may look like a submarine that none of us have on our stock,” he said.

Marles said Australia had wasted a decade in securing its next generation of underwater hunters.

“France matters,” he said.

Wallace said he had proposed doing joint patrols and deployments with France in the Pacific to showcase a European voice in the region.

“There are only two or three big countries in Europe that can deliver that voice and that’s Britain and France and when we’re together were quite formidable allies,” he said.

Wallace said that in his conversations with his French counterpart they understood the logic of Australia wanting to acquire longer-range submarines, even though it meant cutting the deal with France, something that caused a fallout between France and the UK and Australia.

Marles said Australia was actively considering helping train Ukrainian soldiers.



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