The UK and the US have signed an agreement to share naval nuclear propulsion information with a third country for the first time.

The pact was signed with Australia, and it is known as the Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement (ENNPIA). It allows Washington and London to provide Canberra with sensitive and classified information on the propulsion systems of nuclear submarines.

Australian Minister of Defence Peter Dutton, in his statement on the agreement on 22 November, described the agreement as “another important step in Australia's pursuit of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines”.

“This agreement will support Australia in completing the 18 months of intensive and comprehensive examination of the requirements underpinning the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines,” said Dutton.