Trilateral AUKUS defence pact expands to hypersonic missiles and electronic warfare – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – April 6, 2022)

A defence pact among three of Canada’s allies that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed as merely a submarine sale arrangement on Tuesday expanded its scope to include two major security threats: hypersonic missiles and electronic warfare.

The United States, Britain and Australia announced they will work together to develop their capacity to launch and intercept hypersonic missiles – which travel five times the speed of sound and can change course in mid-flight – as well as electronic warfare, which is the use of the electromagnetic spectrum to disrupt enemy operations.

The three countries joined forces in a new military arrangement, dubbed AUKUS, last September – an alliance condemned by China – to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia for the first time.

Hypersonic missiles are a major threat to Western allies. Last fall, a senior U.S. general warned a Halifax security forum that China and Russia have surpassed the United States in the development of this technology, regarded by some as a first-strike weapon.

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