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Australia to Put Artificial Intelligence to the Test Tracking Chinese Submarines Under AUKUS Deal

Australia, with AUKUS partners, will deploy AI, drones, and space radars in the Pacific to counter China, as revealed in a key California meeting.

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In a pivotal alliance with its AUKUS partners, Australia is set to deploy an array of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, drones, and advanced space radar systems, to address China's escalating influence in the Pacific region. This strategic move was underscored during a significant meeting in California on Saturday. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles joined forces with his American and British counterparts, Lloyd J. Austin and Grant Shapps, respectively.

Together, they unveiled the second "pillar" of the AUKUS deal, marking a crucial step in this tri-nation effort to enhance regional security and counterbalance China's growing assertiveness.

Technological Advancement

australia to put artificial intelligence to the test tracking chinese submarines under aukus deal

The AUKUS partnership, a key element in countering Beijing's growing military influence, will rapidly utilize AI algorithms to process sonar data gathered by underwater devices from the three nations. This technological leap is expected to significantly improve the speed and accuracy of tracking Chinese submarines. The tests will deploy these advanced AI algorithms on multiple systems, including the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, a primary maritime surveillance and attack aircraft used by the US Navy​​​.

Strategic Implications

The integration of AI in tracking Chinese submarines represents a strategic shift in how these nations approach maritime security. AI algorithms are poised to enhance the allies' ability to adapt to China’s rapid military modernization and its assertive global posture. This initiative forms part of the extensive technology-sharing agreement known as Aukus Pillar II, which also encompasses cooperation in other technological areas, including quantum technologies and advanced cybersecurity.

Operational Capabilities

One of the critical features of this initiative is the integration of the ability to launch and recover undersea drone vehicles from torpedo tubes on current submarines. This capability will increase the range and effectiveness of undersea forces and support Australia’s development of a new submarine, the “SSN-Aukus.” This advancement indicates a commitment to track and counter potential threats in the Indo-Pacific waters.

Financial Aspects

The Pentagon has announced the approval of a potential sale of Aukus-related training devices to Australia, estimated at US$2 billion, with General Dynamics being a principal contractor in the sale. This financial commitment underscores the importance the US places on this tri-nation alliance and its role in the Indo-Pacific region.

China's Submarine Capabilities

The focus on tracking Chinese submarines comes from China's significant naval expansion. According to the Pentagon's latest report, China currently operates a substantial fleet of submarines, including nuclear, diesel, and air-independent attack submarines. The Chinese navy's submarine force is expected to grow substantially by 2035, necessitating a strategic response from its geopolitical rivals.


The adoption of AI for tracking Chinese submarines, as announced in the AUKUS deal, marks a significant evolution in naval warfare and defense tactics. This approach, leveraging Chinese submarines using artificial intelligence, not only showcases an advancement in military technology but also underscores the collaborative stance of Australia, the US, and the UK in enhancing anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

As outlined in their joint statement, this innovative strategy, incorporating underwater detection devices, is poised to monitor Chinese warships and submarines effectively. Implementing this technology is expected to fundamentally alter the landscape of naval defense and the geopolitical interplay within the Indo-Pacific region.