The US, Britain, and Australia announced on Tuesday that they will work together to develop hypersonic missiles under the recently created AUKUS military alliance. President Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the plan in a joint statement.
The leaders said they are “committed today to 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.”
US military leaders have been calling for more investment in the development of hypersonics and other advanced weaponry, which they see as vital for competing with China and Russia. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said Tuesday that the US Air Force recently successfully tested a hypersonic cruise missile made by Lockheed Martin.
The AUKUS military pact was signed by the three countries last September and is focused on increasing military technology ties to counter Beijing. Under the deal, Australia will get access to technology to build nuclear-powered submarines, which could be used to patrol waters near China.
When asked about the AUKUS hypersonic plan, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang warned that such measures could lead to a crisis similar to what’s happening in Ukraine. “Anyone who do not want to see the Ukrainian crisis should refrain from doing things which may lead the other parts of the world into a crisis like this,” he said.