Australia has secured the delivery of a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in a ramped-up trilateral partnership with the US and Britain.

Speaking at a virtual event on Thursday, Mr Morrison announced the creation of a new trilateral relationship between the three countries – “AUKUS”.

“Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region – the Indo-Pacific. This affects us all. The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures,” Mr Morrison said at Thursday’s joint national security address.

“To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level.

“A partnership that seeks to engage – not to exclude – to contribute, not take and to enable and empower – not to control coerce.

“So AUKUS is born, a new trilateral relationship between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“AUKUS – a partnership where our technology, our scientists, our industry, our defence forces, are all working together to deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all.

“AUKUS will also enhance our contribution to our growing network of partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The first major initiative of AUKUS will be to deliver a nuclear-powered fleet for Australia.

“Over the next 18 months, we will work together to seek to determine the best way forward to achieve this.

“This will include an intense examination of what we need to do to exercise our nuclear stewardship responsibilities here in Australia. We intend to build these submarines in Adelaide, Australia, in close cooperation with the United Kingdom and the United States.”

Mr Morrison maintained he is not seeking to establish nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability.

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