Prime location: optimising submarine sustainment in Australia
MetadataShow full item record
The Australian Government is currently considering the optimal strategy and location for ongoing sustainment of the Collins Class submarines. To align with the Naval Shipbuilding Plan any decision must focus on building and sustaining the country’s naval and industrial capabilities, to generate economic growth and provide local jobs into the future. It must ensure all risks to the enterprise are mitigated, costs are managed, and availability of the Collins Class submarines is not compromised over the medium-to-long term during the transition to the Attack Class submarines. The final Collins Class submarine was commissioned in 2003, with ASC awarded the 15 year Through-Life Support contract. In 2012, John Coles reported on the poor performance of the Collins Class, resulting in a major restructure of the submarine’s usage and upkeep cycle of maintenance and sustainment and the implementation of to two-year full cycle docking (FCD). Resolution of early concerns about the performance of the Collins Class submarines led Coles (2016) to conclude that the sustainment program had moved from a project of concern in 2012 to an exemplar in 2016. In October 2019, ASC reported the ongoing success of Collins Class sustainment activities, with performance continuing to exceed international benchmarks. It is the responsibility of ASC to ensure that sustainment is undertaken productively, cost-effectively and in accordance with exacting standards. Significantly, large scale naval shipbuilding, deep maintenance and sustainment has been located at the Osborne facility in South Australia since the 1980s when ASC won the contract to build the Collins Class submarine. The submarine’s strategic base is located in Western Australia, with the Henderson Shipyard playing a role in some sustainment activities.
©  Flinders University / Australian Industrial Transformation Institute