Russia claims this is a hypersonic missile used against Ukraine (Picture: Russian MOD).
UK

UK, US and Australia to work on hypersonic weapons in light of Russian invasion

The three countries work closely together and share technology as part of the Aukus pact, announced in 2021.

Russia claims this is a hypersonic missile used against Ukraine (Picture: Russian MOD).

The United Kingdom, United States and Australia have agreed to co-operate on hypersonic and anti-hypersonic weapons, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It comes as the three nations reiterate their "unwavering commitment" to an international system that "respects human rights".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday as part of the Aukus military pact announced in 2021.

The agreement sees the three countries work closely together and share technology.

It was originally aimed at developing a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian Navy for the first time, but Mr Johnson previously suggested the alliance could go beyond that.

The trio on Tuesday committed to "commence new trilateral co-operation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen co-operation on defence innovation".

Russia has boasted about its use of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile in the Ukraine conflict – it had not been used in combat before.

The Aukus leaders said: "We reaffirmed our commitment to Aukus and to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Watch: What is Aukus?

"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."

The UK's National Security Adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove said: "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."

The initial announcement of the Aukus pact caused outrage in Paris, as the submarine deal came at the expense of a lucrative agreement between Australia and France to provide diesel-electric boats.