CN LETTER OF RECORD SUBMARINE AVAILABLILTY
11 June 2011
The article in The Australian, 10 June 2011, by Cameron Stewart – ‘Not a single submarine seaworthy’ appears to misunderstand how Navy and Defence maintain and operate the submarine fleet to meet operational requirements.
It is incorrect that there are no seaworthy submarines.
Here are the facts:
- Currently, of the fleet of six Collins Class submarines Navy has four submarines based in Western Australia and two in deep level maintenance in Adelaide.
- Of the four based in WA, two are currently in their operating cycles, one is in scheduled maintenance and one, which would otherwise be in its normal operating cycle, is in unscheduled maintenance.
- Navy is presently meeting the Government’s standing requirement for submarine availability to respond to operational needs.
Navy, the Defence Materiel Organisation and Industry continue to work closely together on a program to improve reliability across the entire submarine fleet.
The Collins Class submarine is a complex capability. As with any piece of complex machinery operating in a harsh environment unscheduled mechanical failures will occur.
Navy remains committed to maintaining a submarine capability that is operated effectively and safely to protect Australia’s national interests.
VADM Ray Griggs
Chief of Navy