You were called back to Top Gun Albo: Joe Biden’s gift to Australian PM after historic AUKUS submarine deal closed
- Anthony Albanese gave away Joe Biden aviator sunglasses
- Australian PM is in California for historic AUKUS meeting
Anthony Albanese has taken to Instagram to show off his new pair of aviator sunglasses gifted to him by US President Joe Biden.
The Australian prime minister, 60, appeared to have struck up a friendship with his new pal Biden, 80, after they appeared together at a belly button dock in San Diego to announce details of the landmark AUKUS security pact.
“Thank you for the gift @JoeBiden,” Albanese wrote.
Biden was photographed during the official AUKUS press conference wearing a similar pair of sunglasses, though it is not known if this was the same pair that was given to Albanese.
Many commentators drew comparisons to the 1980s film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a Navy fighter pilot, and its 2022 sequel Maverick, in which the actor sports similar shades.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese showed off a pair of aviator sunglasses that Joe Biden gave him as a gift.
Commentators joked that the prime minister seemed to be testing for a role in the Top Gun movies.
“You’ve been called back to Top Gun,” one person said.
“Yes, for stealing Biden’s glasses,” added another.
“And thus a new meme template was born,” quipped a third.
At this week’s AUKUS meeting, it was announced that Australia will command a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines over the next three decades under an accelerated plan.
In a bid to deter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific, Canberra will procure three Virginia-class nuclear submarines from the US as a stopgap measure from about 2033 before a new hybrid SSN AUKUS-class vessel reaches the waters. Australians a decade later.
The cost to taxpayers of the trilateral agreement with the US and the UK will amount to between $268 and $368 billion over the next three decades.
The plan will take $9 billion of the budget bottom line over the next four years and $50-58 billion within a decade.
The annual cost will then be around 0.15 percent of GDP until the mid-2050s, but there are caveats about the accuracy of the forecasts due to the unpredictability of inflation three decades from now.
A US submarine for Australia will roll off the production line every three years before the new AUKUS class is built at a similar rate from 2042. The sale will need congressional approval.
Biden wore similar, perhaps the same, sunglasses at the AUKUS press conference earlier this week.
US President Joe Biden (center) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) at the Point Loma naval base in California
Australia is ready to get nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS deal (pictured: a BAE rendering of what the submarines would look like)
Australia’s top ministers are working to allay concerns about Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines by placing dozens of calls to their Chinese counterparts as the communist superpower continues a disinformation campaign.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia had an impeccable record when it came to nuclear non-proliferation.
“We will observe at the highest level, our obligations under the non-proliferation treaty, under the Rarotonga Treaty,” Senator Wong said.
“We will make sure that we have … the highest standards when it comes to the safety of building this capacity.”