Australia has agreed to buy three Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarines from the US over the next decade, with the option to purchase two more.
The acquisition, made in partnership with the US and the UK under the AUKUS defence pact, is Australia's largest military investment since World War II. The move comes as a response to concerns over China's economic and military power, as the country wants to have submarines with nuclear propulsion technology to compete in the Asia-Pacific region.
Beijing has denounced the deal, claiming that it would harm regional peace and stability.
Australia has announced its plans to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US as part of an agreement under the AUKUS defence pact.
The country will purchase three Virginia class submarines over the next decade, with the option to acquire two more if needed.
Australia's decision to invest in nuclear submarines is driven by its concern over China's economic and military power.
China has also criticised the deal, stating that it would damage regional peace and stability.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the acquisition the country's "single biggest leap" in military modernisation since World War II. He also said that the decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines was a "forever decision" that would greatly enhance Australia's security.
On the other hand, China denounced the deal as indicating a "Cold War mentality" among the AUKUS members and that it would harm regional stability.
The deal has been praised by the US and the UK, with President Joe Biden calling it a "historic opportunity" for the three countries to deepen their partnership.
The UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the agreement represents a "bold new chapter" in the relationship between the UK, US and Australia.
The acquisition is expected to have significant technological and strategic benefits for Australia, including improved intelligence gathering and greater strategic deterrence.
The announcement of the deal has sparked debate over the impact that nuclear submarines may have on global peace and stability.
Some experts have expressed concerns over the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the Asia-Pacific region, while others argue that the deal is an important step in countering China's growing military power.