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Current Affairs

AUKUS deal upsets France

Date: 20 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The AUKUS trilateral treaty between Australia, UK and US has irked France, who has called the move a stab in the back.



The AUKUS treaty was a landmark treaty between the English-speaking democracies of the world. It also marks a joint action against China.



  • The biggest reason for France to get upset is because it has lost a mega submarine deal to the US after the announcement of AUKUS.

  • It has also felt humiliated for being kept in the dark about such a major development taking place in Indo-Pacific in which it also has stakes.


Benefits for Australia

  • It is the only second instance in history that US is sharing its nuclear-submarine building technology with another country.

  • The deal will allow Australia the strategic capability to conduct operations in the larger Pacific region, including the South China Sea.

  • It is also believed that Australia will receive the Tomahawk cruise missile that can be used for land attacks from ships and submarines.

  • Australia will also be made available Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles that will give capabilities for F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighter aircraft in future.


Concern for France

  • French shipbuilder DCNS would have delivered 12 Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A Attack-class conventional diesel-electric submarines to the Australian navy under a 2016 agreement.

  • Australian PM Morrison did not mention the deal during the announcement, indicating that Canberra had scrapped the deal.


Loss for France

Potential revenues for the French military industry will be lost as a result of scrapping of the deal. American defence manufacturers will make profits.


Way ahead

  • France has already recalled its envoys for Australia and US. It has refused to let go the issue and will pursue the case legally.

  • France has cancelled an upcoming grand celebration in Washington DC to mark the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Capes.

  • This incident is likely to strengthen the calls for Europe to develop its own strategic and defence capabilities and reduce dependencies on US.


French interests

France is the largest European power in South-Pacific with its overseas territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia that are threatened by Chinese expansionism.