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A Glimpse Into AUKUS Pillar 2 Critical Technology Advancements

In this particular era of increased global competition, the United States is prioritizing its international partnerships, alliances and coalitions more than ever. Today, the U.S. and its allies are on the cusp of important advancements in technology areas that have been identified as critical to winning the great power competition.

In 2021, the United States entered into a trilateral security agreement with the United Kingdom and Australia known as AUKUS. The strategic partnership was formed with the goal of bolstering the countries’ allied deterrence and defense capabilities, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, where tensions are rising between AUKUS countries and competitors like China. 

AUKUS is focused on two pillars: the first pillar is centered around nuclear-powered submarines, and the second deals with advancing critical defense technology. The “critical technologies” in pillar two include artificial intelligence, quantum computing, microelectronics, directed energy, cyber, hypersonic weapons and more.

Critical technology areas, the great power competition and JADC2 are just a few of the many timely topics that will be discussed at the Potomac Officers Club’s 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit in January 2024. This day-long event gathers defense experts, government decision makers and industry thought leaders in dynamic discussions on the future of the defense landscape. Register here to save your seat.

According to the Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer Heidi Shyu, the White House is preparing to make an announcement regarding AUKUS sometime this fall. Breaking Defense reported that while Shyu did not disclose any further details about the announcement, it’s possible that it may have something to do with AUKUS pillar two.

“A path that I proposed is linking that together to show a portfolio of capabilities. So that will be coming out soon,” said Shyu, a three-time Wash100 Award winner, at NDIA’s Emerging Technologies for Defense conference. 

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