Anger at Peter Dutton’s disclosure of AUKUS submarine negotiations with the United States

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s decision to disclose sensitive talks with the United States over the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines has raised concerns he may have jeopardized plans for a deal spouse by the end of the year.

The former defense minister – and now leader of the opposition – used an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper on Thursday to say he was confident of securing two US Virginia-class nuclear submarines by 2030.

Under the AUKUS partnership unveiled in September last year, Australia is working with the UK and US to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to replace the aging Collins-class boats of this country.

Mr Dutton then insisted that had the Coalition remained in power it might have been ‘able to make an announcement around July-August’ and he now feared Labor might consider building instead more conventionally powered submarines.

“I really fear that Labor is now walking away from AUKUS, from the submarine deal, and that is clearly not in our national interest,” he told Sydney Radio 2GB.

Several figures linked to the AUKUS partnership have privately expressed concern over Mr Dutton’s disclosure of defense advice, which included his fears that the “Collins-class diesel-electric submarines will not be able to compete with the Chinese in the South China Sea beyond 2035”. .

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Submariners say a new version of the Collins-class submarine is needed as a workaround.

A Coalition adviser who worked on AUKUS said it was unwise for Mr Dutton to discuss how aging Australian submarines could soon be detected by emerging radar technologies because they need to come to the surface to “sniff” (recharge their batteries).

Another figure, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr Dutton’s op-ed had ‘shoved’ plans for a joint announcement by the end of the year between Australia , the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The United States can’t even do what Mr. Dutton claims he can do, which is to supply two nuclear boats off the production line in Connecticut,” the official added.

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