The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has completed its fourth and final review into the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines.
The review, released by expert John Coles, confirmed that submarine maintenance and availability have improved.
Currently, two, and sometimes three, submarines are available for deployment, a significant increase compared to the recent past when the crew was often reliant on a single boat.
Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said that the final report outlines notable progress in several areas.
"This includes greater availability of spares, less planned maintenance overruns, fewer breakdowns and faster repairs to operational boats when problems occur," Johnston said.
The report also confirmed an enhanced collaborative effort by all partners, including the navy, the Defence Materiel Organisation and the submarine maintenance contractor, ASC.
Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Collins-class submarines are sophisticated platforms capable of operating in a demanding environment, although he added that ‘there are still risks ahead with more work needing to be done’.
"We are particularly pleased with the improvements in submarine productivity from ASC, which has meant better support of the navy’s submarine capability," Cormann said.
The study into the business of sustaining the Royal Australian Navy’s strategic Collins-class submarine capability is part of the government’s effort to improve the reliability and the availability of the navy’s submarine fleet.
The navy currently operates a fleet of six 78m-long Australian Submarine Corporation-built Collins-class submarines, which are designed to carry up to 22 missiles and torpedoes, as well as six 533mm forward-torpedo tubes with air-turbine pump discharge.
Image: The Australian Collins-class submarine, HMAS Rankin (SSK 78), enters Pearl Harbor. Photo: courtesy of US Navy journalist Seaman Ryan C. McGinley (RELEASED).