BRITAIN will work with America and Australia on new deadly hypersonic weapons to see off the threat of Russia and China.
Leaders Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison dramatically stepped up their AUKUS defence pact yesterday by agreeing to work together on cutting-edge military gear.
The new coalition was formed last year to share nuclear sub secrets, but was last night widened to include cyber warfare and futuristic space weapons.
Hypersonic missiles bolt through the air five times faster than the speed of sound, making them near impossible to evade.
But it risks a fresh row with Emmanuel Macron, who was memorably seething when Australia pulled out of a £65billion for France to build the subs in favour of new AUKUS pact.
France goes to the polls this weekend, in a humiliating eve of polling blow for the struggling French President cut out of yet another new deal.
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AUKUS allies will also pool resources on counter hypersonic defences to protect against enemies with the high-tech missiles.
This includes work on “directed energy weapons” to knock hypersonic weapons off their flight path, and also how to cloak our own targets from their systems.
Putin is believed to have deployed hypersonic rockets in Ukraine, although officials stressed today’s AUKUS agreement was not a tit for tat response.
A British official explained: “They’re much harder to disrupt. And so that’s why we need to think about the advantage we get.
“Because if we have a hypersonic capability, that may enable us to deter our adversaries by holding some things, targets, at risk.”
While stressing there was currently no plans to build our own hypersonic missiles, the research agreement could pave the way for future weapons sharing.
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Britain does not currently have hypersonic weapons, although the US and Oz have an existing joint programme to develop the tech.
Further cooperation on electronic, cyber and undersea warfare, as well as artificial intelligence was also agreed.
In a statement Johnson, Biden and Morrison said: “In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reiterated our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion.”
Britain’s National Security Adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove added: “In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s more important now than ever that allies work together to defend democracy, international law and freedom around the world.”
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