ASC built Australia’s fleet of Collins class submarines in Adelaide between 1990 and 2003, and now provides design enhancements, maintenance and through-life support of the six-vessel fleet at the Osborne Naval Shipyard. The Collins class submarines are the most complex military vessel built in Australia, with each vessel taking 2.5 million hours to assemble. Widely regarded as the world’s best conventional submarine, the Collins class employs some of the most technologically advanced sonar systems, decoy methods and radars.
A workforce of about 1000, including designers, engineers and tradespeople, supports the fleet in South Australia, which will continue until the end of its operational life. The support involves full-cycle dockings, as well as design enhancements to ensure the fleet remains at the cutting edge of submarine technology.
A full-cycle docking is an extensive maintenance and upgrade refit program, typically involving thousands of tasks over two years, which each submarine rotates through after a decade of operational service. During a full-cycle docking, ASC cuts the hull of the submarine to remove the main motor and diesel engines before re-welding the hull, effectively rebuilding the submarine.
ASC is the platform system integrator on current Collins modification projects, which include platform systems improvements, combat system replacement, weapon and sensor enhancements, and communications mast and antenna replacement.
The Collins Class submarine fleet will be upgraded and have its service life extended to ensure capability is maintained until the Future Submarines are introduced into service in the early 2030s.
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