Defence Minister ‘understands’ French uproar over AUKUS pact
Defence Minister Peter Dutton says he’s understanding of the response from French officials over Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine deal.
Under a trilateral security pact with the UK and US announced yesterday, Australia will receive a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the deal as “a stab in the back” after it saw Australia tear up a $90 billion contract for French-built diesel submarines.
“I understand it from the French perspective and we’re very respectful of their position,” Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley.
“If we had somebody cancel a contract of that amount of money on us, we’d be upset as well.”
But the superiority of nuclear-powered submarines, which move faster and are not as easily detectable as their diesel counterparts, couldn’t be ignored.
“The nuclear-powered submarine was going to give us a much greater capability than the diesel submarine.
“In the end, my first priority is and always will be to keep our country safe.”
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