Speaking at a virtual announcement on Thursday, the leaders announced the creation of a new trilateral relationship between three countries – “AUKUS”.
“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,” Mr Morrison said.
“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.”
Australia, US and UK to make joint national security statement
Mr Morrison said they intend to build these submarines in Adelaide, Australia, in close cooperation with the United Kingdom and the United States.
“But let me be clear – Australia is not seeking to establish nuclear whens or establish a civil nuclear capability. And we will continue to meet all of our nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
“Australia has a long history of defence cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom. For more than a century, we have stood together for the course of freedom, motivated by the beliefs we share. Sustained by the bonds of friendship we have forged. Enabled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and inspired by our shared hope for those who will follow us.
“And so, today, friends, we recommit ourselves to this cause and a new AUKUS vision.”
Cabinet ministers attend urgent top-secret meeting in Canberra
A senior pentagon official told The Australian the US would help Australia “identify pathways” to build, obtain or buy nuclear submarines.
“We have no better allies than Australia and the UK. The relationships with these allies are time tested.” the pentagon official said.
“We’ve done this only once 70 years ago with Great Britain. Technology is extremely sensitive and is a major exemption to the usual policy. This is a one off.”
Several federal cabinet ministers were granted border exemptions to attend a “top-secret” meeting in Canberra on Wednesday.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne who are currently in Washington for a series of meetings are said to have joined via video link.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and three other senior shadow ministers were also briefed.
More to come.

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